Is there a brewing feud between Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi? While an actual conflict may not exist, the Poland international has admitted that he was surprised when the Argentina captain did not vote for him in the The Best FIFA Men’s Player Award.
Regardless of Messi’s vote, Lewandowski did receive the award in a ceremony hosted by FIFA last month. Meanwhile, Messi won a record seventh Ballon d’ Or trophy in 2021. At the time, the former Barcelona captain admitted that Lewandowski also deserved to win.
However, Messi seems to have changed his mind and decided to vote for Real Madrid marksman Karim Benzema and his current PSG teammates Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappe in The Best FIFA Men’s Player category.
“It is difficult for me to relate to it. I voted for Messi because I appreciate what he did in 2021 and, of course, earlier. Messi voted for me in the Ballon d’Or, and I don’t know why his point of view changed later,” said Lewandowski, while speaking to Pilka Nozna from his native country.
While he seems to have been surprised and maybe slightly offended, the Bundesliga top scorer has brushed the situation aside. “I have no regrets, no complaints, I accepted it, he made his decision and that’s it,” he said, as quoted by Marca.
Despite moving on from the snub, Lewandowski could not help but compare Messi’s Ballon d’Or to his own award. While the latter’s trophy is seen as most prestigious, the Polish star feels that the FIFA award is more objective and important.
“I have come to the conclusion that the FIFA award does matter more than the Ballon d’Or. Only journalists vote in the latter,” he said, adding, “Professionals and journalists vote for the FIFA [award]. Team captains and national team coaches, and they can realistically and objectively evaluate our achievements, because they know how much each match, each record, each injury costs us.”