Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has insisted he is not bothered by criticism as he is his own harshest judge.
Messi has spoken to ESPN with his comments reported by AS. The Argentina international was asked about the World Cup, the season just finished, and how he has changed in the past four years.
“Since the World Cup in South Africa I’ve grown a lot in football and personally,” Messi revealed.
“I’m a father. That’s a big responsibility and it changes things. Now it’s my son and then everything else.
“When everything bad is happening it’s a joy to come home and see him.”
Messi was the focus of criticism last season as Barca at times struggled, ending the campaign without a trophy.
But Messi says criticism from outside only spurs him on – and that no one criticises his game as much as he does himself.
“My desire is to excel and always want more. I am my No.1 critic and I do things right and wrong.
“All that matters is playing football, and has done since I was very young.
“I always said that when it’s not entertaining and I’m not having a good time, I’ll leave. That’s all that interests me.”
Messi was dethroned last year as the world’s best player when Cristiano Ronaldo claimed the Ballon d’Or. Asked for his opinions on who the best players in the world are, Messi pointed to the Portuguese and named a host of other candidates.
“There are a lot of good players in the world: Neymar, Xavi, Iniesta, Cristiano, Ribery, Robben…I could say a lot more, but it’s the fans who choose who is the best,” Messi said.
“[If Argentina win the World Cup] I would be a world champion but not the best in the world.
“No. Argentina would be the best team in the world and I get to add another competition to my resume as well.”