Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski has hit out at Lionel Messi for lacking sincerity in his recent Ballon d’Or victory speech.
Messi took to the stage and admitted that Lewandowski should have won the award in 2020 when the event was cancelled, revealing that he wished France Football would give him a retrospective trophy to mark his achievement.
It was a nice sentiment from the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, who was up against Lewandowski for this year’s prize too, but the Bayern man wasn’t particularly impressed.
“I’m not that enthusiastic about getting the 2020 award,” Lewandowski told Kanale Sportowym.
“I would like it [Messi’s statement] to be a sincere and courteous statement from a great player and not just an empty words.”
Many felt that Lewandowski, who was the obvious winner in 2020, deserved the award in 2021, but he had to settle for second place instead.
“I felt sadness,” Lewandowski said of missing out on the Ballon d’Or this year. “I can’t deny it.
“I can’t say I was happy, on the contrary. I have a feeling of sadness. To be so close, to compete with Messi, of course I respect how he plays and what he has achieved. The mere fact that I was able to compete with him shows me the level that I was able to reach.”
Lewandowski has given himself a great chance of winning the prize in 2022, beginning the current campaign with 27 goals in 21 appearances, compared to Messi’s return of four in 13 since moving to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.