Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi has insisted winning honours for his club is more important to him than picking up individual awards.
The 26-year-old, who is widely regarded as the best player in the world, has won the Ballon d’Or on four occasions over the course of his career while leading Barca to a string of trophy successes.
But after receiving his latest accolade, the Goal 50 award, the Argentine has claimed such recognition pales into insignificance in comparison to helping his team-mates to glory.
“I’m very excited about this,” he told Goal.
“As players, we work the entire year to win honours for the team, we don’t look for the individual awards, but when they come it’s an incentive and gives us strength to continue on the same path.”
Messi emerged from Barca’s famed La Masia youth academy to make his first-team debut in an October 2004 league match against Espanyol.
He has since helped the club to six Liga titles, two Copa del Rey wins and victory in three UEFA Champions League campaigns, scoring 313 goals in 379 appearances.
Messi also has 82 Argentina caps to his name and has taken part in two World Cups.
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