Speaking to the press in Zurich, FIFA Ballon d’Or nominee Leo Messi said, “it hasn’t been my best year. I’m more interested in team awards than I am about what I might win individually. There have been years, where we won more titles, that have been better.”

“I play to win titles”

During the pre-gala press conference, which also saw Andrés Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo -Ballon d'Or nominees - and Vicente del Bosque and Pep Guardiola - nominees for the Coach of the Year award- field questions from reporters, Messi explained that “when I was eight years old I never dreamed of being the best. I don’t dream about it now. The only thing that interests me is to play with the ball and enjoy [the game].” Messi went on to rubbish any claims that he shares a rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo. “I play to win titles, that’s what we have in the end. I don’t compete against him [Ronaldo], I do my best to help my team, my national team and to continue improving.” He added: “It would be stupid to not consider Cristiano Ronaldo among the three best footballers in the world, but I also believe that Xavi, Iniesta and Kun Agüero should be here.”

Iniesta pleased to be in Zurich

For Andrés Iniesta being in Zurich alongside the two FIFA Ballon d’Or candidates is an honour: “Being here is special. There are so many footballers that play at a high level so standing next to Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi is special.” The FC Barcelona midfielder added: “Independently of who wins the award tonight, I’m happy. What I’ve experienced this year has been fantastic, I've had unique moments. I hope this year will be just as good as last year.”

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