Lionel Messi says it's an honour to be part of FC Barcelona after winning his sixth Ballon d'Or. Messi's latest triumph means the award has now been won more times by Barça players (12) than by Real Madrid players (11.
"It's an honour to be part of this, of my club that I love so much, of the best team in the world and to be part of this club's history. This individual recognition is important for Barcelona. There are Ballon d'Or winners present and it all contributes to making the club even greater," commented Messi in gratitude to the club that has developed him, seen him grow, succeed, shine and grab glory with both hands.
"I feel happy about everything I am going through at the moment. In a sporting sense, I try to better myself every year and keep working hard to improve. Individual prizes have always been secondary, the important thing is the team. I try to prepare myself to fight for everything, sometimes you can, other times you can't. The important thing is to enjoy it while you're trying."
Messi said that he tries to savour these moments even more know because he's aware that retirement is approaching, although he stressed he will fight to play on for as long as he can.
"I hope, God willing, that I keep playing for many more years," he added. "I'm now 32, though, and will be 33 at the end of the season so, as I said, everything depends on how I feel physically. Right now I feel better than ever on a physical and a personal level and I hope I can go on for a lot longer"
Messi's contract runs until 2021 but a clause could allow him to walk away for free next summer.
"Barça know me and know there's no type of problem with these issues," he said on that clause. "It goes beyond a contract. What I feel for this club is (worth) more than any signature of a piece of paper, so there's no issue."