Sunday, August 18, 2013

here is no rivalry with Ronaldo, insists Messi

The Barcelona star has praised the match-winning quality of the Portuguese forward, but says he is only focused on matters at his own club

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has dismissed the notion that he and Real Madrid counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo share a rivalry.

The two players have dominated the individual awards in Spain and on the continent in recent years and while the Argentine has conceded that he is an admirer of the 28-year-old, he says he is focused on doing his job for the Blaugrana.

"There is

no rivalry [with Ronaldo] at all," the 26-year-old told Maxim.

"He's a good person and can change any game. He does his thing and I'm just focused on succeeding with Barcelona."

Messi was keen to stress that he wanted to focus on his personal goals and those of the club, with the Catalans' ambitions still high after the departure of Tito Vilanova.

"We want to win titles in Spain and in Europe this season," he continued.

"It was sad how Tito had to go, but now we are all with the new coach [Tata Martino].

"It is no coincidence that the Barcelona players keep low-profile lives and have achieved success. We know that we are footballers, not movie stars. When we're not training or playing, we are in home with our families."

Barcelona begin their title defence on Sunday against Levante at Camp Nou.