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I’m not competing against Ronaldo – Messi

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Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has refused to be drawn into comparing himself with Real Madrid counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo, insisting that he only focuses on improving his own game, Soccernet reports.

Messi, 27, scored his 68th Champions League goal in Barcelona’s 3-2 Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday to close in on Raul’s record tally of 71, though Ronaldo responded with a goal of his own in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win at Ludogorets Razgrad on Wednesday to leapfrog the Argentine into 69.

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner is expected to contest Ronaldo for the 2015 title in January’s ceremony but Messi insists that he is more concerned about winning trophies for Luis Enrique’s side, rather than individual honours.

Asked whether he felt he was the best in the world at Barcelona’s official presentation with new sponsor Gillette, Messi said, “I do not know what my place in the history of the game will be, neither do I even think about it. I’m just focused on continually improving and winning more.

“I’m not competing against Cristiano or anyone. I just do my job – I want to win titles.”

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique hailed Messi for surpassing 400 career goals last week and the former Blaugrana midfielder has been impressed with the Argentine’s blossoming relationship with Neymar.

Both players were on the scoresheet in the midweek defeat to PSG and Messi believes that Neymar has all the attributes to become a future Ballon d’Or winner.

“In football you never know what will happen, but I think with his quality and fitness, Neymar will become the best in the world,” Messi added.

“We play much closer on the pitch than last year. Neymar is a great player and it is a pleasure to combine with him on the field. I have a good relationship with him, He’s a fabulous guy; we get on well on and off the pitch.

“I have a lot of freedom to move on the pitch. The coach told me to move wherever I like, where I can give more passes to the two forwards ahead.”

Messi’s double against Granada at the weekend took him up to 248 La Liga goals, thereby closing the gap on Telmo Zarra’s historic 251-goal record.

However, the World Cup runner-up claims that he has not given the milestone much thought and will only entertain the issue when it arrives.

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