Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi has opened up about his longstanding rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo after winning another Balllon d'Or this week.
Messi and Ronaldo have been going head-to-head for over a decade, with the rivalry intensifying when the latter joined Real Madrid in 2009.
The Argentine collected his seventh Ballon d'Or title in the French capital and moved to clear of Ronaldo, who last won the award in 2017.
However, Messi has downplayed the so called rivalry with the Manchester United star over the years.
"I have always wanted to better myself, not look at what others were doing," Messi told France Football.
"There was competition with Cristiano Ronaldo as we were in the same league for several years. That was great and helped us grow in our careers, but without looking directly at each other.
"I just wanted to be the best I could be.
"I have never said that I'm the best in history and I try not to think about that. Being considered one of the best is enough and something I'd never have imagined."
Scroll through the gallery below to see all the award winners from the 2021 Ballon d'Or awards ceremony