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The Argentinian did not think that he would pip Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo to the Ballon d'Or award and is now focussed on beating Valencia this weekend.

Lionel Messi has revealed that he expected to finish behind Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Ballon d'Or and would rather win trophies with Barcelona than individual prizes.

The Argentinian forward had many fans hoping that he would be rewarded for his outstanding performances over the past 12 months, but had to settle for second place in the France Football honours list.

While several of his Barcelona team-mates admitted that they understood the decision, Messi explained that he did not think that he would pick up the gong and was instead aiming to help the Blaugrana win cups.

“Any player would like to win the Ballon d’Or, but neither am I obsessed with it," he told the club's official website. "I would rather win trophies for Barça or for Argentina.

“I expected to finish second. Ronaldo deserved to win it after everything he achieved and because he had a great year where he won two important trophies.

"All I can do is carry on working and trying to do things well."

Barcelona continue their set of matches against their title rivals at the weekend, after beating Sevilla away last time out, as Valencia visit Camp Nou.

“It will be a difficult game like the one with Sevilla and most of the games we have played," he continued. "But we have to stay calm and keep playing the way we have shown we can.

“We always go out to win every game, whoever we are playing. We know these games will be difficult and that we are playing direct rivals.

"Winning against direct rivals is the kind of thing that makes you feel stronger."

Lucas Brown,