Barcelona star Lionel Messi was pumped by the Portuguese media this week with questions over his rivalry with Manchester United ace Cristiano Ronaldo. After Barca's Champions League victory at Sporting Lisbon, Messi was asked if he believed Ronaldo was the best player in the world: "I think the Ballon d'Or is an important competition.

"He won the Champions League, the Premier League as well, he won them, so I think he will be awarded the prize."

Asked about Ronaldo's claims that he is the "first, second and third best player in the world", Messi responded: "Each one is how he is. I am a footballer and that is all I care about. As they say in Barcelona, the important thing is to have the respect and support of my teammates. I am happy with that."