Lionel Messi: My Barcelona team-mates are the reason behind my personal accolades

The Argentina international is acknowledged by many as the best player on the planet, but the forward has modestly thanked the likes of Xavi and Andres Iniesta for their help
Lionel Messi has thanked his Barcelona team-mates for helping him to reach his potential, and has stated that they are the reason he has won personal accolades.

The Argentina international has won the Fifa Ballon d'Or award for two years in succession, and is on the shortlist for the 2011 trophy also.

The 24-year-old is humble in the face of overwhelming praise, and has thanked the likes of Andres Iniesta and Xavi for getting him to where he is today.

"I don't consider myself the best in the world," he told Onze.

"If I am what they say, I repeat, it is thanks to my team-mates. We have done all this work together.

"I have the great fortune to play with Xavi and Iniesta. They are players that I admire for their class and influence over the game. I have a very good relationship with them. They have become my friends," he stated.

The Rosario-born attacker says he is proud of the success that the Camp Nou outfit have had over the last three years, and feels they will go down in history.

"I cannot judge the past teams or compare them and say we're the best team ever, but I think this team will be remembered for all the trophies we have won," he continued.

"This side has changed the course of the game and the vision of football and the way it is played. What is certain is that we will become legendary."

Messi was also full of kind words for his coach, reiterating his belief that Pep Guardiola is the best trainer in the world.

"Guardiola really is a phenomenon," the forward enthused.

"First, because he has won everything. And then, due to his concern for detail. His way of paying attention to even the most trivial things, is fascinating.

"He leaves nothing to chance. He is without doubt the best coach in the world."

Messi will be a key man in Barcelona's mouth-watering clash with Scudetto holders AC Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday night, which will all but decide the winners of Group H.

Starting last Friday and continuing every Friday through to January, will publish extracts from Graham Hunter's highly-anticipated book, Barca: The Making of the Greatest Team in the World, which kicked off with a fascinating segment on Lionel Messi's rise to the top at Camp Nou. Don't miss it!