Lionel Messi insists he does not compete with Cristiano Ronaldo to be considered the world's best player, although he admits he finds it motivating to see Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
The attacking duo have shared the Ballon d'Or between them since 2008, winning five each, and are widely considered to be the greatest footballers of their generation.
Debate continues to rage over who should be considered the better player and Ronaldo even claimed in December, after winning his fifth Ballon d'Or, that he should be seen as the finest in history.
Messi, though, says he is not interested in striving to be acknowledged as the very best, even though watching Ronaldo and Madrid prepare for a third European final in a row has given him an extra drive to succeed.
"I don't compete with Cristiano," he told TyC Sports. "It stimulates me to see them win leagues or to be in the Champions League final. I want to win LaLiga and the Champions League together."
He continued: "It's not an objective to be the best in history. The fact that these things are spoken of about me, well, that's that. I never set out to be the best, second best, third or fourth.
"I compete to improve myself year after year, to surpass what I have done before. The more trophies I've won at the end of the season, the better, and obviously with the national team, which is something I still don't have."
Ronaldo was a huge success in England with Manchester United before joining Madrid in 2009, having started his career with Sporting CP, while Messi's entire professional life has been spent at Camp Nou.
However, the 30-year-old does not think he has to move to another league before retiring in order to prove any doubters wrong.
"I don't need to go to another team to show anything to anyone," he said. "You look at other leagues, but at the moment of deciding, it's very difficult to leave Barcelona."
Barca took back the Liga title from Madrid this season, with Zinedine Zidane's side struggling for consistency throughout their domestic campaign.
Madrid also survived scares in the Champions League knockouts against Juventus and Bayern Munich to reach another final, but Messi says their determination to battle through such ties should be commended.
"It's something they have," he said. "Playing badly, they win, and sometimes that costs us a little bit. We have to be far superior against them to win."
Messi will soon begin World Cup preparations with Argentina, who are looking to go one better than they managed four years ago, when they lost the final to Germany.
That defeat, coupled with similar failures in two Copa America finals, prompted the forward to suggest Argentina's senior players would have to retire from international football if they fail in Russia.
He has since changed his mind, though, stressing: "After saying the words, I thought about it with a cool head and realised that leaving the national team gave the wrong message to the youngsters and the people who fight for their dreams. You have to keep trying.
"The fact we were finalists and weren't able to win is a weight that we carry. We want to overcome that barrier."
Argentina have been written off by some observers due to their 6-1 friendly thrashing by Spain in March, but Messi, who missed that game through injury, says the scoreline did not tell the whole story.
"It was a false result because Argentina were much better in the first half, had more possession for quite some time, and that's not at all easy," he added.
|MLB investigated alleged Astros sign stealing, found no wrongdoing|
|Timberwolves star Wiggins to donate $22 for every point this NBA season|
|Red Sox´s Sale won´t start game five of ALCS|
|Tsitsipas and Shapovalov advance at Stockholm Open|
|Witsel to Dortmund is signing of the season - Martinez|
|Pique confident Nadal will play in 2019 Davis Cup|
|Seeds suffer in Moscow and Luxembourg|
|Johnstone grabs hat-trick as England ease past France|
|Pogba and Mourinho disagreement over Instagram video, confirms Pereira|
|Nuggets coach Malone signs contract extension|
|Mayweather accepts Khabib´s challenge: ´We´re fighting´|
|Slovenia sack Kavcic as head coach|
|Morgan and Rashid star as England win rain-reduced ODI in Sri Lanka|
|Romagnoli aims to make Gattuso proud in Milan derby|
|Naldo signs Schalke extension|
|Bills to start quarterback Anderson against Colts with Allen out|
|O´Sullivan makes 147 at ´hellhole´|
|Barcelona know when captain Messi is angry – Abidal|
|Bertens loss hands Pliskova last WTA Finals berth|
|Liverpool star Mane undergoes hand surgery|
|F1 Raceweek: Happy hunting ground for title-chasing Hamilton - US GP in numbers|
|Canelo signs record-breaking DAZN deal|
|England hit by another Vunipola injury absence|
|Gruden: Oakland Raiders ´aren´t tanking´|
|Chiesa focused and happy at Fiorentina|
|We´ll see what´s possible - Henry not limiting Monaco´s ambitions|
|Wembley sale off after Khan offer withdrawn|
|Football needs people like Arsene - Pires keen for Wenger return|
|Abbas five-for torments woeful Australia as Pakistan take control|
|Henry: Wenger and Guardiola inspirations for my coaching career|
|Pires backs Henry and Vieira for Ligue 1 success|
|Bolt rejects Valletta offer|
|Wenger ready for January return to management – but where?|
|NBA 2018-19: The LeBron James effect on teams he has joined|
|Svitolina qualifies for WTA Finals after Pliskova loses|
|Genoa will sell ´superstar´ Piatek, admits president|
|Moutinho targets European qualification with Wolves|
|Embiid: 76ers-Celtics isn´t a rivalry, they always kick our a**|
|Vinicius ´calm´ as he waits for Real Madrid chance|
|Nothing else to say - Ramos posts clip of supposed Sterling stamp|
|Chiellini joins Mind the Gap campaign to help players prepare for retirement|
|Injured Kusal Perera replaced by Kusal Mendis in Sri Lanka squad|
|Big names return for Scotland´s November Tests|
|Essien tells Loftus-Cheek to stay and fight for Chelsea chance|
|Nainggolan relishing challenge of first Milan derby|
|Curry: Slap me if I tire of championship celebrations|
|Sevilla don´t fear Messi or Barca – Kjaer|
|Low: Dropped Muller is still very important for Germany|
|Hayward put ´dark memories´ behind him with Celtics return|
|I hope I´m in Klopp´s good books! - Koeman jokes after resting Wijnaldum|
|Rested Fellaini should be fit for Manchester United, says Martinez|
|France´s mentality must be right - Lloris|
|Bellinger seals dramatic win as Dodgers level up NLCS|
|Curry, Durant lead Warriors past Thunder|
|Kjaer surprised by LaLiga-leading Sevilla as Machin´s men remain grounded|
|A-League preview: Honda the big arrival as fascinating season awaits|
|Mexico 0 Chile 1: Sanchez helps La Roja to late win|
|Celtics too good for 76ers in NBA opener|
|United States 1 Peru 1: Flores salvages late draw for visitors|
|Martinez not worried about Belgium depth|
|Red Sox move ahead of Astros in ALCS|
|Depay ´a joy to watch´, says Koeman|
|Timberwolves owner looking to trade Butler, backs Thibodeau|
|Shepard says Giants have ´total faith´ in Manning|
|Hazard is out of this world – De Ligt enjoys Belgium test|
|Tite: Brazil were better than Argentina|
|Foley eyes World Cup after re-signing with Wallabies, Waratahs|
|Low slams decisive France penalty call|
|I fined him for his goal at Old Trafford! Giggs delighted for Wales hero Wilson|
|Matuidi lauds Deschamps´ tactical nous after Germany win|