Lionel Messi Emphasises Teamwork Before Individual Prizes

The Barcelona and Argentina ace gave little away in this afternoon's press conference...
Lionel Messi was one of five players interviewed in today's press conference prior to the FIFA World Player of the Year award.

The young Argentine, though, was given relatively little of the limelight, and consequently had ltitle to say for himself over the course of proceedings.

Still, the 21-year-old Barcelona legend-in-the-making was prepared to offer his views on club and country.

"It's a great joy to be here, and it is an honour to be here with these great players," he began, before skilfully avoiding the minefield of what to do about those polls that placed him above hot favourite Cristiano Ronaldo in the runnings for the prize.

"All decisions are personal. Let me say that, personally, the whole situation and the people are special," he added.

"You see, it is a matter of enjoying football. We, who play football, do enjoy it... I forgot the question, sorry - what was the question," he laughed.

Teamwork

Messi was full of praise for his team-mates at Barça and with the Argentine national side, the Albiceleste.

"Without a team you can achieve nothing. It's a team that wins a tournament, and not an individual player," he said. "With regards to Argentina, we know now what the Spanish team can do in Europe.

"They have outstanding players and, for the time being, they're the team playing the best football. If they keep up their style of play they'll be one of the greatest contenders [against Argentina].

"Coach Diego Maradona? I'm just 21 years old and certainly it's impossible to be such a great player as Maradona is. My aim is to help our national team to win as many matches and trophies as possible and to take it from there."

The FIFA World Player of the Year will be announced this evening at approximately 23:00 CET. Stay logged on to Goal.com for our exclusive, LIVE coverage of the event, beginning at 20:00 CET.


Steve Michaels, Goal.com