Pique backs Messi for 2012 Fifa Ballon d'Or

The towering defender believes the prolific attacker is likely to collect his third consecutive player of the year gong, and is adamant that Barca remain hungry for silverware
Gerard Pique has labelled his Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi as the favourite to win this year's Fifa Ballon d'Or award.

The Argentina international is likely to face stiff competition for the accolade from players such as Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Cristiano Ronaldo, but Pique feels that Messi is currently the top player in football.

"It’s difficult to guess who will win the Ballon d'Or this year, but in my opinion, Messi is the best player in the world," Pique stated to Tencent Sport.

The centre-back then went on to discuss the Blaugrana's goals for the upcoming season, and stressed that the team's priority, despite a coaching change, remains winning trophies while entertaining the fans.

"Barca’s objective is to win, without a doubt. We’re going to fight to win each match, and we’ll try to play beautiful football.

"Tito [Vilanova], who has been with us as the assistant coach for a long time, will manage the team with the same philosophy."

Barcelona are currently preparing for the pre-season friendly game versus Raja Club Athletic on July 28.