Messi, who missed out on FIFA's 'The Best' Awards gala last Monday, citing match preparation duties, also took out time to praise England's all time record goalscorer Wayne Rooney, saying he has always respected the Manchester United captain, who is just one goal shy of breaking Sir Bobby Charlton's all time goal scoring record for Manchester United.
Speaking to Coach Mag, Messi said:
“There is a mutual respect. I view him as a great player who has achieved great things because that is exactly what he is. My motivation, though, has always come from wanting to do well for Barcelona and Argentina, and the fans.”
“Over the years we have faced many British teams in Europe and come up against many good players, but I have always had a big respect for Wayne Rooney. He has played at the highest level for many years and is one of the special players of the generation.”