Lionel Messi has paid tribute to his Barcelona team-mates, saying they are the reason for his personal accolades.
The Argentina international is considered a hot favourite to win the 2011 FIFA Ballon d’Or, having already won the prestigious award in 2009 and 2010.The 24-year-old is humble in the face of overwhelming praise, and has thanked the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi for getting him to where he is today.
“I don’t consider myself the best in the world,” he told Onze.”If I am what they say, I repeat, it is thanks to my team-mates. We have done all this work together.”
“I have the great fortune to play with Xavi and Iniesta. They are players that I admire for their class and influence over the game. I have a very good relationship with them. They have become my friends.”
The Rosario-born attacker says he is proud of the success that La Liga outfit have had over the last three years – including last season’s La Liga, Champions League and Supercopa treble – and feels they will go down in history.
“I cannot judge the past teams or compare them and say we’re the best team ever, but I think this team will be remembered for all the trophies we have won,” he said.
“This side has changed the course of the game and the vision of football and the way it is played. What is certain is that we will become legendary.”
Messi was also full of kind words for his coach, reiterating his belief that Pep Guardiola is the best trainer in the world.
“Guardiola really is a phenomenon,” Messi said.”First, because he has won everything. And then, due to his concern for detail. His way of paying attention to even the most trivial things is fascinating.
“He leaves nothing to chance. He is without doubt the best coach in the world.”Messi will be a key man in Barcelona’s mouth-watering clash with Serie A holders AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday – an encounter that all but decide the winners of Group H.