Both are on a 23-man shortlist compiled by FIFA's football committee and experts from France Football magazine.
"(The rivalry) is a question of the media," he told France Football.
"We constantly face it to sell more papers and improve television audiences.
"The truth is I'm a little tired of it. It's a little heavy but I'm used to it. I don't like to compare myself with others.
"Messi and I are different, that's for sure.
"I respect him a lot.
"Messi can win (the Balon d'Or) but so can Xavi or Iniesta. And we cannot forget (Didier) Drogba or Falcao. They can also receive the trophy."