Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted that his competitive rivalry with Barcelona's Lionel Messi has made him a better player.
The Portugal captain, who won the Ballon d'Or for the second time in his career last week, believes that his desire to match - and surpass - the goalscoring exploits of Messi and others has made him the unstoppable force that he is today.
"Competition helps me to be a better player, of course. But not only competition with Messi," Ronaldo was quoted as saying by France Football.
"Also other players of a high level like those I see in the Premier League and in other leagues: Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta, Neymar, Gareth Bale, Diego Costa or Radamel Falcao.
"They improve the level they play at and because of this I’m also going to improve. Messi and I both want to be the best and we help each other to better ourselves."
Ronaldo beat Messi, who finished second in the voting, to the 2013 Ballon d'Or award.
However, the Argentina international still has two more of the prestigious individual accolades in his trophy cabinet, having won the award in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.
The rivalry between the two players has been the talk of La Liga since Ronaldo arrived at Real Madrid from Manchester United in 2009.