Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/31/12
In an interview with France Football magazine, Lionel Messi has revealed he will vote for teammates Andrés Iniesta and Xavi Hernández as finalists for the FIFA Golden Ball award. Messi also declared that his third vote will go to a fellow Argentine. The three-time Golden Ball winner has right to vote in the election of the best player in the world for 2012, as he is the captain of Argentina's national team. After receiving the European Golden Boot award, Messi was interviewed by several media members. The Argentine star showed that even though he is shy, he is becoming more talkative and more opinionated when giving interviews. During the interview, the 25-year old also acknowledged that he is getting tired of being compared with Cristiano Ronaldo. "People try to create a rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and me, [but] the topic tires me a bit," he said. Besides declaring his vote for Xavi and Iniesta, Messi mentioned Iker Casillas and Ronaldo as other contenders for the prestigious award. "I think Casillas can win the Golden Ball, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, and there is also Cristiano," said the Barcelona star. In an interview with Marca, Messi declared that Tito Vilanova changed his career when he was playing in Barcelona's youth system -- where he was coached by the now Barcelona manager. "I was lucky that when Tito arrived, I started playing [instead of being on the bench], and from that point, my career in the youth system changed," Messi said. Finally, when asked if he had assumed the leader role after Pep Guardiola's exit, Messi was clear to say he has the same role as in previous years. "I feel the same way as other years. Everybody know their roles and this group doesn't need a leader because of the type of persons that are in it. I keep having the same role as always." For more sports news, visit Terra.com.

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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