Lionel Messi has reflected on his Ballon d’Or win and revealed that he still harbours ambition to achieve much more in his career.
The 25-year-old was awarded a fourth successive Ballon d’Or this week to cap a memorable individual 2012, but as he told co-organisers of the event France Football, he does not see this as a peak.
“I have more hunger, I still have many targets,” he enthused in an interview published today.
“Have I comprehended my achievements so far? I do not think about it, all the awards provide me with pleasure and pride.
“I’m very happy to have this now, I’m going day by day, trying to keep progressing and to take all this in without too much of a headache.
“If I can win more [Ballon d’Ors], but it does not preoccupy me. I’ll have to find room for them! Now, I feel great joy and immense pride every time I receive the Ballon d’Or.
“This is the fourth, but it is still something unique and again I feel an immense joy when I hold it in my hands. Although this weighs a lot!”
The Argentine was asked if the fourth one was deserved, or whether another player should have been given the award.
“I do not know, it is not for me to say. I would have been very happy if Andres had won it. Moreover, without him, without the help of my teammates and Coaches, maybe I would not have won.
“I think of Pep Guardiola, Alejandro Sabella and Tito Vilanova, who I hope will heal completely. And then I think it is very difficult to assess the merits of each person when it comes to a team sport.
“What interests me as a priority are the titles for my team, the collective trophies, that’s the most important, all the players and I will confirm that I’ve always said that. And from that point of view I have had better years, yes.”
Messi missed a penalty in Barcelona’s Champions League semi-final second leg defeat to Chelsea.
“It hurt a lot, and it often comes back into my head. It has been a long time… You always want to win, but that is not always possible and it is necessary to accept that.”
The Argentine was asked of his hopes of taking his country to World Cup glory in Brazil in 2014.
“We are making progress, we are unbeaten in qualifying and playing well, but we have many things to improve.
“The World Cup is far away, and now I am only thinking of Cordoba and the Copa del Rey.”
Play and compete for prizes in the world's most entertaining Fantasy Football Game. Select your favourite players from Europe's top 5 leagues, including Messi, Ronaldo, David Silva and Pepe Reina.