The 25-year-old Barcelona forward has won three consecutive World Player of the Year awards, and is expected to be in the running for a fourth this year, after scoring an unprecedented 73 goals in all competitions last season.
"I prefer to win titles with the team ahead of individual awards or scoring more goals than anyone else," Messi said.
"I am more worried about being a good person than being the best football player in the world. When all this is over, what are you left with?
"When I retire, I hope I am remembered for being a decent guy. I like to score goals but I also like to have friends among the people I have played with."
Barcelona resume their rivalry with champions Real Madrid on Sunday, when Jose Mourinho's team visit the Nou Camp in La Liga having already overcome the Catalans in the Spanish Super Cup back in August. Messi is expecting a similar test.
"It's the best feeling to beat Madrid because of the importance attached to it," he said.
"Madrid kill you on the counter-attack. "They have extremely fast forwards, and the link-up between the defence and the attack lasts only five seconds and it is a goal. They don't need to play well to score three against you.
"I am lucky enough to know well [fellow Argentines] Gonzalo Higuain and Angel Di Maria. Higuain isn't in the game, touches the ball twice, and scores two goals. Madrid score goals out of nothing."