By ESPNSTAR.com staff
After a period of rest over the summer, Messi picked up where he left off last season by leading Barcelona to six wins in as many La Liga games. His outstanding performances this year have naturally led him to enter the running for the Ballon d'Or, but he revealed to the club's official website that he did not desire personal accolades. Instead, he wished for his team-mates to receive more recognition.
"Prizes are always great. I appreciate them, of course. But deep down, this is something that you [the press] are more concerned with ... the questions about who is better than whom are constant. Xavi or Iniesta? Who knows the answer to that? I’m lucky to have landed at this Barça, where there are excellent players. They have given me everything: the individual awards, the titles, the goals, everything. This team has reserved its spot in history for everything that its already won," Messi said.
"I’m lucky that I get to play here and that I get to play for Argentina, where I get to play with fantastic players. It’s so fundamental to be able to play with quality teammates. This team makes me a better footballer, that’s for sure. Without the help of my teammates, I would be nothing, I wouldn’t win anything. No individual awards, no titles, nothing."
As one of the world's most popular footballers, Messi's movements are monitored closely by the media, but he remains undaunted by the attention.
"I’m not acting. I’m the same person on and off the pitch. It doesn’t bother me that I’m looked at all the time because I’m just being me. I’m always me," he stated.
"At first I did shy away a bit, but that was a long time ago."
With match officials now taking a firm stance on play-acting during games, Messi shared that it had always been against his instincts to go down easily.
"It’s from when I was a kid. It’s always been that way. I always tried to finish the play," he disclosed.
"I don’t know, I never looked for it, never took to diving."
Messi will take to the field for Barcelona at the Estadio Da Luz when the club visit Benfica for their Champions League fixture tonight [Tuesday].