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02.12.2008 20:57

“Thanks for the support, it is as if I had won it”

Berta Brau

Leo Messi came within a whisker of winning the Ballon d’Or, an award any player would like to win, as he confirmed himself. But he still feels that anything he wins for Barça or Argentina is far more important than any individual accolades.

The Barça striker finished second in the classification for France Football’s prestigious award. “Any player would like to win the Ballon d’Or, but neither am I obsessed with it. I’d rather win titles for Barça or for Argentina” he said.

Second as expected

“I expected to place second. Cristiano Ronaldo deserved to win it after everything he achieved” said Messi, who considers the Portuguese international to have had “a great year where he won two important titles.”. Nevertheless, Messi has high hopes of winning the award next season, and said “I will carry on working and trying to do things well”.

Valencia, the next mountain to climb

messi_amb_aireuropa.jpgOn Saturday, Barça entertain Valencia, which Messi reckons will be “a difficult game like the one with Sevilla and most of the games we have played. But we have to stay calm and keep plying the way we have shown we can … we will be playing in front of our own fans and that always helps”.

Missing Eto'o

The fifth yellow card shown to Samuel Eto'o in Seville means he won’t be on the field for this weekend’s game with Valencia, and Messi was asked whether he feels that will have a negative impact on the side. His answer was that “Samuel is an important player, who is scoring goals, but we have a large squad and whoever plays will do a good job”.

“We feel stronger when we beat direct rivals”

messi_amb_aireuropa_x2x.jpgThe game with Valencia will be the second of a run of important games against Barcelona’s direct rivals in the title race. “We always go out to win every game, whoever we are playing. We know these games will be difficult and that we are playing direct rivals … winning against direct rivals is the kind of thing that makes you feel stronger”.
“Thanks for the support, it is as if I had won it”

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“It is always nice to play happily”
Leo Messi is convinced that hard work is the reason why things are going so well for his team this year. “We are working well, the squad is feeling fine and when the results come too, it’s all so much easier. It is always nice to play happily”.

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