There is no rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, insists Messi

The Barcelona star praises the Portuguese's match-winning quality but insists that he is only focused on matters at his own club rather than competing with the Real Madrid icon
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 concedes that he is an admirer of the 28-year-old, he says that 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 stressed his 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 [Gerardo 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."