Barcelona star plays down Cristiano Ronaldo rivalry

Despite constant claims of a rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi says he is uninterested in personal plaudits.

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi has again played down his supposed rivalry with Cristiano Ronaldo, claiming he does not compete with the Real Madrid forward.

The duo have been Europe's leading marksmen year after year, breaking records in Spain and on the continent, while also starring for their respective countries on the international stage.

However, Argentina striker Messi maintains Barca's success is all that matters to him.

"These are things that people say. I don't compete with Cristiano and I suppose he would not compete with me," he told Yahoo Sport.

"What I want is the very best for my teams and that's what I am working for."

Messi is out of action with a cruciate knee injury sustained in September, with Barca hopeful the 28-year-old can return in time for El Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu on November 21.

When asked about his progress, Messi added: "[I am] upbeat, wanting to get on with my recovery.

"Being injured is the worst feeling in the world for a sportsman, but right from the start I accepted that I had an injury and that the only thing to do was to recover from it the best way possible.

"The most important thing for me is to be at 100 per cent fitness. I knew I was injured right from the start and although at first you are obviously worried, after the diagnosis and all the repercussions emanating from the injury you understand that you have to be patient.

"I don't think it was difficult for me to accept and take on board. I am improving every day without setting myself any targets.

"I have always said that I don't set myself any dates because it isn't up to me. As much as I would like to play tomorrow, the doctors wouldn't let me. W

"When they tell me that I have recovered completely will be the time that I will make my return onto the pitch."

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