Real Madrid attacker Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that the rivalry with Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is making him a better player, while stressing that the Argentine is not the only player who inspires him to reach new heights.
The Portugal international recently won the 2013 Fifa Ballon d'Or, beating the likes of Messi and Franck Ribery to the prestigious individual award, and he has made it clear that the performances of other high-profile names keep him on his toes.
"Competition helps me to be a better player, of course. But not only competition with Messi," Ronaldo was quoted as saying by France Football.
"Also other players of a high level like those I see in the Premier League and in other leagues: Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Diego Costa or Radamel Falcao.
"They improve the level they play at and because of this I’m also going to improve. Messi and I both want to be the best and we help each other to better ourselves."
The 28-year-old is often praised for his professionalism and he has underlined the importance of having the right attitude.
"I know that if I work hard and show a lot of ambition I’ll be the best on the pitch. I’ve always considered myself a professional guy. That’s my culture.
"I’ve always learned a lot from other players, from Gary Neville or Ryan Giggs at United, from Raul and Michel Salgado at Madrid and from Luis Figo, Rui Costa, Deco and Fernando Couto in the national team.
"Being a good professional is 70 per cent of being successful as a player."