Lionel Messi has expressed his happiness at the fact Cristiano Ronaldo will be competing for 2014 World Cup glory in Brazil next summer. 

The Portuguese super star scored a hat-trick to help overcome Zlatan Ibrahimovic's Sweden in a World Cup playoff on Tuesday night, securing his country a 4-2 aggregate win - with the Real Madrid player scoring all of Portugal's goals. 

And Messi is delighted that the £80million man will be joining him in South America next year, saying: "I was very happy for him when he scored those goals. 

"It's just great when the best teams compete in Brazil, and Cristiano has had a great scoring rate for many years now. 

"He plays at an outstanding level."

The pair have been in a long-running battle for the title of world's best player ever since Ronaldo swapped Old Trafford for the Santiago Bernabeu in 2009, with Messi beating him four times in the last four years to the prestigious Ballon d'Or award. 

And the 26-year-old Argentine had nothing but good things to say about Ronaldo after he single-handedly fired his country to the biggest footballing spectacle on Earth. 

"I don't know if this is Cristiano's best moment, but he is always there, scoring goals in all the games and playing his part for club and country. He has been like that for many years now. Whether he is at his best, or a bit below that, there is almost no difference," he said

The Barcelona forward went on to add who he thinks has the best chance of taking Spain's World Cup crown from them, with Germany and in particular Mesut Ozil catching his eye.

"Germany have a great team loaded with many young players at a high level. I especially like Ozil, although - of course - that doesn't mean I want him on my team."

He added: "To win the World Cup is a dream for me, my team mates and all of Argentina. Hopefully we can win there, but a lot of nations can do that."

The little Argentine, who has scored 327 goals in 333 Barcelona appearances, is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury an is expected to be out until the New Year. 

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here:

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: