Lionel Messi has admitted that winning a seventh Ballon d'Or would be "crazy" as Robert Lewandowski emerges as the favourite to scoop the award.
The Paris Saint-Germain star has won the coveted award a record six times and boosted his chances of winning a seventh after leading Argentina to the Copa America crown in the summer.
But Lewandowski's achievements with Bayern Munich have made him a frontrunner, and Messi does not think he will win the prize this year.
Asked whether he expects to lift the Ballon d’Or again on November 28, Messi told SPORT: “If I'm honest, I don't think so. My biggest prize was what I was able to achieve with the national team.
“After having fought and fought so much for that achievement, it was the best for all it cost. If the Ballon d’Or arrives it would be extraordinary for what it would mean winning one more. The seventh would be crazy. If not, nothing happens. I have already achieved one of my great goals. I am very happy for what happened and now that whatever has to happen happens.”
Messi was named Player of the Tournament at the Copa America and has already set sights on glory at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
“I am very excited to do great things. We come from winning the Copa America after having searched for it for so long, from being so close for so long without being able to consecrate with the national team. After this, the desire is great for what is to come.
“We are good today for today. We still need to be one of the great candidates. We are not because there are better teams. We are on the right track, the dynamics are good and the atmosphere is good. Winning helps a lot and this will make us grow even more.”