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Messi insists he " doesn't compete " with Cristiano Ronaldo

posted 22 Nov 2012, 08:35 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 22 Nov 2012, 08:36 ]

Lionel Messi says he doesn't compete against Cristinao Ronaldo

BARCELONASPAIN (NOVEMBER 22,2012) (REUTERS) -  World player of the year Lionel Messi said on Thursday (November 22) he did not compare himself to Real Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo, but only tried to do his best on the pitch to help his team.

"I don't compete against Cristiano Ronaldo, not at all. I try to do as much as I can for my team and my national team. We knonw this is all about you press guys, who always try to compare us with statistics or our way of playing, but I think neither of us compete against each other," the 25- year-old striker told reporters at a news conference.

With the FIFA Ballon D'Or due to be awarded on January 7, speculation is growing that the Barcelona superstar could win the award for the fourth year running. Cristiano Ronaldo won it back in 2008. Another Argentine favourite Carlos Tevez added to the debate when he said he thought Messi was the superior player. Tevez played alongsideCristiano Ronaldo when they were both at Manchester United between 2007 and 2009.

The Argentine ket up his scoring run on Tuesday (November 20) with two goals in his side's 3-0 victory over Spartak Moscow which put the Catalans through to the last 16 of the Champions League.

His brace took his tally in Europe's flagship competition to 56, putting him level in second place on the all-time scoring list with former Dutch marksman Ruud van Nistelrooy. Only Spain's Raul has more with 71.

Messi also equalled Raul's record of scoring in 19 different cities in the Champions League and surpassed the former Real Madrid player's mark of scoring two goals or more in 14 matches in the competition.

Messi moved to within five goals of Gerd Mueller's calendar-year scoring record of 85, set in 1972.

But the Barca player gave all the credit to his team mates, some of whom like midfielders Xavi and Andres Iniesta, who have also been shortlisted in the past years.

"I would never have achieved what I did on an individual level. The Ballon D'Or only means that I am shortlisted thanks to the goals I score, and I depend on my team mates to score. So they get a lot of credit too," he said.

The Argentine said his team would fight this year for the Champions League, in which they were knocked out by Chelsea last year.

"(The Champions League) is always a challenge. It is the most beautiful tournament we play. The best teams play there and winning it is a challenge every year because of what it means to us. It is difficult because the best teams are playing there, but we are going to fight for it as we do every year," Messi said.

Roberto Di Matteo, who guided Chelsea to their Champions League glory just six months ago, was sacked on Wednesday (November 21.)

When asked about it, Messi said it was not unusual in big clubs like Chelsea.

"Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs and these things happen when you are in one of those. You can't afford to lose two consecutive games because that means they will consider sacking you and talks about a substitute start. I think it happens in all the best teams in the world . When things don't work out, they look for a change. But I am not there, so I can't really say anything about him leaving."