"It would be stupid not to consider Cristiano amongst the top three players in the world. I voted for Iniesta, Xavi and Agüero because they have all done really well and the decision was mine", Leo Messi told reporters in Monday's press conference, the prelude to tonight's FIFA Ballon d'Or gala.
"I am not in competition with Cristiano. I have said that many times. I am competing to win trophies, in the end that is what it is all it is about, helping my team", Messi continued.
"This hasn't been my best year. I am more interested in the trophies the team wins rather than individual awards. In a previous year, we won more silverware and that was a much better year in my opinion", he said with reference to Barça's clean sweep of trophies under Pep Guardiola in 2009.
"When you are my age, you don't think about being the best in the world - all you think about is playing. All I care about is enjoying myself with the ball at my feet. I am happy with how things are going at Barcelona and with the Argentina national team. We need to keep growing and developing as a team but the World Cup finals are still a long way off", he added.
To end, Messi spoke about his hopes and ambitions at international level, concluding, "Argentina's objective is to continue improving. We are on the right path. Now we must ensure that we qualify for the World Cup finals as quickly as possible so that we have more time to prepare for it".