Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi has explained that he never thought he would be in contention for the 2018 Ballon d'Or award which was won by Real Madrid star Luka Modric.
Lionel Messi has won the Ballon d'Or award five times in his career, and apart from losing this year's title to Luka Modric, the Argentine also failed to finish among the top three.
He finished fifth in the final standings, behind Modric, France World Cup winners Antoine Griezman and Kylian Mbappe as well as long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Messi has now claimed according to the latest report by Marca that the result of the 2018 Ballon d'Or award did not surprise him.
''I heard the nominees for the Ballon d'Or and I knew I would not be in the fight,''.
He also responded to Cristiano Ronaldo's challenge that he should leave the Spanish La Liga for a move to the Italian Serie A.
"Accepting Ronaldo's challenge to join Italian football? I don't need any change. I'm at the best team in the world.
"My challenges are renewed year after year. I do not need to change team or League to set new goals. I am at home and I do not need to change,'' Messi told Marca.