Second in 2013 and 2014 in the battle for the Ballon d’Or, Leo Messi reclaimed the award in 2015 for a record fifth time. “The last two Ballon d’Or for Cristiano Ronaldo were well deserved" he says in an interview with France Football magazine. "I feel happy to come back and win it this year.”
For the Argentine individual awards are not an obsession, unlike collective prizes. “If another Ballon d’Or comes then perfect, but if not then that’s fine as well. I am not obsessed with the award. In contrast, I do have an obsession with winning team titles,” admitted the Barça number 10. 'Proud' to have been amongst the top three for the last nine years at the Ballon d’Or, Messi still has one overriding desire: to win trophies with Barça and Argentina.
The Messi that last won the prize back in 2012 is a very different beast to the one now. “My son has made me grow and I see football in a different way now" he says. "I love this sport, I adore it but now when I go home and I have something else, a family. My son Thiago doesn’t like football, he prefers walking or playing with his toys.”
Messi believes he has developed on the field as well as off it: “I see more things out on the field. I pass more and having players like Neymar and Suárez helps in that sense.”
A ‘trident’ out there on the field and three friends off the field - that is the magic recipe for this current FC Barcelona team. “When you have a problems in the dressing room, it’s difficult to win trophies. The great relationship with Neymar and Suárez was something natural. It allows us to find each other with our eyes closed out there on the field.”
Finally, Leo Messi touched on the future. He described his team mate Neymar as a “future winner of the Ballon d’Or” thanks to his “skill, his pace and his dribbling.” Of himself, he said: “I will never play in another European club but I might end my career in Argentina, I would like to do that. Anything can happen in football but I am looking forward to staying here in Barcelona.”