Football: Hard work and sacrifice needed to reach the top of the game, says Messi

Barcelona football player Lionel Messi (left) and goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto answer questions from disabled children at the Okura hotel in Bangkok on Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013. Messi on Tuesday attributed his stunning achievements to hard work and sacri
Barcelona football player Lionel Messi (left) and goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto answer questions from disabled children at the Okura hotel in Bangkok on Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013. Messi on Tuesday attributed his stunning achievements to hard work and sacrifice, as his Barcelona side prepare for the first game of their Asian tour in Thailand. -- PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (AFP) - Lionel Messi on Tuesday attributed his stunning achievements to hard work and sacrifice, as his Barcelona side prepare for the first game of their Asian tour in Thailand.

Ahead of their pre-season friendly against Thailand's national side on Wednesday, the Argentinian four-time World Player of the Year said dedication was the only route to the top.

"You have to fight to reach your dream. You have to sacrifice and work hard for it," he said. "Training is very important. Now we have no competition we are training a lot. When the season starts we have to play matches so we will train only one or two hours a day."

Speaking at an event with the club's partner charity Unicef, Messi also advised members of Thailand's Special Olympics "unified" football team - players with and without intellectual disabilities - to lap up the experience when they travel to Brazil next year for the Global Unified Cup.