Messi: I have no ego

The 25-year-old has hit back at claims he is carrying an inflated sense of self-importance and says he will not push son Thiago into becoming a professional footballer
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has defended himself against recent criticism by claiming he is not inherently an egotistical person.

The 25-year-old has drawn criticism from some sections of the media this season following indifferent performances for Barcelona in matches of great significance to the Catalan giants.

In addition to his recent form, it had also been reported the star had fallen out with team-mate David Villa in November last year following a high-profile spat with the Spain international, prompting theories that Messi had acquired a narcissistic streak.

However, speaking to US Magazine Esquire, the Argentine claims to possess an innate sense of humility amid the criticism: "I don't have an ego. I certainly do not feel like I have one," he said.

Meanwhile, the Ballon d'Or winner also reflected on the birth of his son, Thiago, but says he will not force him into following a similar career-path as he did.

He added: "It makes me happy knowing that he's at home waiting for me after training and playing. I'm not determined for him to be a footballer. Whatever he does in his life, I'll support him."