Robert Lewandowski has clarified that Lionel Messi’s words towards him at the Ballon d’Or ceremony “really touched” him.
Messi acknowledged that Lewandowski should have at least be given one Ballon d’Or to his name at this point in his career given his on-field excellence with Bayern Munich.
And after an interview in which Lewandowski says he was misinterpreted as questioning Messi’s intentions, the Polish forward has said “they weren’t empty words” aimed at him.
“Messi’s words towards me [about the Ballon d’Or] really touched me,” Lewandowski told Bild. “They weren’t empty words, it was a nice moment in my career.
“I only spoke a few words with Leo [one-on-one], because my Spanish is not that good. I spoke with Kylian [Mbappe] in English, he then translated for Leo. It was a great night.”
On what it would take to win the Ballon d’Or in the future, Lewandowski added: “It’s about little details, everything has to be in place. What I can guarantee is that I’ll continue doing my job and bring my best performances.”
“I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it’s been a real honour to compete with you,” Messi said after collecting the 2021 Ballon d’Or trophy.
“Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year.
“I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or – you deserve it and you should have it at home.”
He added: “I think Robert Lewandowski had a great year. Year after year, he improves and shows the excellent striker he is, as well as his ability to score goals.
“This year he was awarded as the top scorer. Of course he can certainly aspire to that level next year, thanks to his way of being on the pitch. And in addition, he plays for a big club.”