Messi: I must win World Cup to be considered great

MADRID - Football players must win the World Cup before they can be considered one of the sport's greats, in-form Barcelona forward Lionel Messi was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"To become a legend, to be great, you also have to win a World Cup," Argentina international Messi said in an interview with Spanish daily El Mundo.

"I have only just turned 22," he added. "It's all happening very quickly and you have to stay calm."

Messi has turned in a series of brilliant performances in recent weeks, scoring 11 goals in five matches, including two La Liga hat-tricks, and earning comparisons with former players like his compatriot Diego Maradona and Brazil's Pele.

"I never intend to disrespect anyone," Messi told El Mundo. "I just play football. In my own way."

NEWS: Messi nets second straight league hat-trick

NEWS: Mesmerising Messi compared to sporting greats

Follow on Twitter
Join on Facebook