Lionel Messi does not intend to slow down after bagging his sixth Ballon d’Or title. In fact, this title has simply made him feel more competitive towards Cristiano Ronaldo and his other contenders.
Winning the 6th Ballon d’Or takes him one step ahead of Ronaldo, setting a record for Messi. Even though he and Ronaldo have won most of the title between themselves, except for the one time when midfielder Luka Modric broke in the previous year, Messi firmly believes that this is not the highlight of his career – rather, it is more of a pathway to greater success and more milestones.
“I’m going to enjoy this with my family, because those times when it’s possible to do it do not last long,” he said after being given the Ballon d’Or on Monday night at Paris.
“I am already focused on the future. This gives me great pride, it gives me a lot of strength to continue my work.”
Messi added: “To the journalists and my colleagues with whom I win and lose, I remember my first Ballon D’Or in Paris, when I arrived with my brothers – now I pick up the sixth, and this was absolutely unthinkable.
“I never stopped dreaming and enjoying football like when I was a child.
“I hope I have more years to enjoy, although I am aware of how old I am, everything happens very quickly and I know that the moment of withdrawal (retirement) is approaching.”
This is a clear call to Ronaldo and his competitors to be on their toes and watch out.