Barcelona president Sandro Rosell had praised Lionel Messi for not being 'cocky' and says the Argentine superstar's humility makes him a fine example of a professional both on and off the pitch.

Messi is regarded as arguably the greatest ever player football has ever seen, but the Barcelona forward is also admired for who represents a fine moral example for young fans of the game.

The 25-year-old was rewarded for his exploits with Barcelona earlier this week when he received the Golden Shoe for his record-breaking season for the Camp Nou club last term.

Upon receiving the award, Messi was quick to point to his Barcelona teammates as the key reason for his unprecedented goals tally in 2011/12, during which he scored 73 goals in all competitions, including 50 in La Liga.

And, said Rosell, this was a clear demonstration of why Messi is viewed as such a model pro.

"Respect, effort, ambition, team work and humility are key values," Rosell told Marca.

"Humility is not being cocky. Like Messi, or the way that Barca celebrate its title wins modestly, without offending its opponents.

"When Messi was awarded the Golden Boot, he said that it was thanks to teamwork. Without that, there are no individual victories.

"Messi ran the length of the wing against Rayo [Vallecano] to defend, even though his team were winning 5-0 and he’d scored two of those goals. He made an effort.

"Even if you've done all the hard work, you have to keep making an effort."

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