BUENOS AIRES (AFP) - Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel Messi says he must improve on all fronts even as debate rages as to whether he is the best player ever.
"In everything we do in life we try to improve on all fronts and in football I am no exception," Messi told Clarin daily in an interview published on Sunday. Messi, 25, claims to be mulling over how to do even better despite having already won a welter of honours, including a record four straight Ballons d'Or.
Playing for Barcelona keeps his feet on the ground, Messi says, not least because clubmates Xavi and Andres Iniesta were also candidates for his footballer of the year status, conferred on him once again earlier this month.
Messi says remaining humble is part of the Barcelona philosophy. "It's a dressing room where we are all very similar in outlook. The way we are and our education both within and outside the club gave us that (outlook)," said Messi.
Messi, who saw off Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Iniesta for the Ballon d'Or for 2012, won the accolade in part for breaking Gerd Mueller's 40-year record for the most goals in a calendar year - the Barcelona man finished the year with an astonishing 91 goals in all competitions.
Even so, with Barca he was unable to land either La Liga or the Champions League in a somewhat disappointing campaign, while some observers insist he cannot yet be classed as the greatest player ever, moving ahead of Pele and Diego Maradona, unless and until he lifts the World Cup.
Messi also told Clarin that he would not change his view that the club must come before the individual.
"My goal is not to break records - every season I want to win everything possible with my team - be it Barcelona or the national side," he insisted.