Lionel Messi: I don’t like being a role model and I never tried to be the best

Lionel Messi says he doesn’t feel comfortable being a role model and never dreamed of being the best player in football history.

The Paris Saint-Germain star received the Ballon d’Or this week for the seventh time, extending his record as the man with the most wins in the award’s history.

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The Argentina international has been hailed as an example for young players to follow throughout his career, but Messi admits he doesn’t see himself as a role model.

What did Messi say about being a role model?

“I don’t know if I’m a role model,” he told France Football. “I don’t like being a role model or giving advice.

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“I fought for my dreams. At first it was to be a professional player, then I tried to push myself and achieve new goals every year.

“In the midst of all this there is also an element of luck. It is also up to God, and I believe that he chose for all of this to happen to me.”

Is Messi the best player of all time?

The 34-year-old’s latest success has reignited debate over his place in football history.

The former Barcelona star has faced comparisons to compatriot Diego Maradona since the start of his playing days, as he battled Cristiano Ronaldo for the reputation as today’s best player.

But Messi says he doesn’t know if he’s the greatest in history, saying: “I never said, thought or even tried to accept that idea.

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“For me, just being able to be considered or cited as one of the best players in the world is more than enough. It’s something I never would have dared to imagine or dream of.

“But…I don’t know how to put it so that it doesn’t get misinterpreted…It’s not that I’m not interested, but, let’s just say I don’t give much importance to everything it. It doesn’t matter to me whether I’m the best or not. And I never tried to be either.”

Rebecca R. Santistevan