Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta believes Lionel Messi's outstanding displays are as a result of the team working in unison.
The Argentina international broke Germany legend Gerd Muller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year by scoring 90 times in 2012, but Iniesta has stressed that was only possible because of the efforts of the collective.
"I think a great team comes about when each person plays to his full potential. Barça are better with Leo in the team and Leo plays better with Barça," the 28-year-old told FIFA.com. "Football isn't an individual sport, it’s a team game in which individuals stand out much more when everyone’s pulling together.
He added, "I play better when Leo’s there and he’s a better player alongside us and that’s what matters: the fact we all feel we've a part to play in doing things right."
Messi also won his fourth consecutive FIFA Ballon d'Or trophy in January, but revealed his belief that Iniesta should have won the award, though the Spain international is adamant the prize was given to the right player.
"It’s nice of Leo to say so, particularly since he’s a teammate of mine who I’ve known for a long time and who plays alongside me. It’s very nice of him," Iniesta said.
"Even though we were both on the podium for this award, I didn't consider him a rival, not for an instant. He’s still my teammate. I was as happy for Leo to win his fourth Ballon d’Or."
Barca currently tops the Liga table with a nine-point advantage over Atletico Madrid.
- Sports & Recreation