Skip to main content

Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski clash: What was REALLY said between the Ballon d'Or top two

Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski
(Image credit: Getty)

Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski are embroiled in a spat over the 2021 Ballon d'Or being awarded to the PSG star, according to reports. But what was really said?

Messi admitted that the 2021 award was given for not his finest calendar year in football and paid tribute to the second-placed Lewandowski, claiming that he was deserving of the 2020 award, cancelled due to COVID-19.

“You were the winner last year and France Football should give you the award. You deserve it, you should have it at home too,” the 2021 winner said.

The Pole has reportedly taken offence to such a comment, however.

“I would like his statement to be honest, not just empty words,” the striker was translated to have told Polish show Moc Futbolu on TV station Kanale Sportowym - but it appears as if English speakers have got the wrong end of the stick. 

Speculation is mounting from Polish speakers online that Lewandowski was slightly mistranslated. In saying that he would like Messi to be sincere, he actually meant that he would like to think that the Argentinian meant the gesture. 

The pair were the two favourites for the prize this year, with Messi's usual rival Cristiano Ronaldo dropping out of the top five for the first time in a decade. CR7 even found the time to comment on a post on Instagram perhaps reigniting his age-old feud with the PSG playmaker. 

"[Messi] can do a low-key season, way below [Ronaldo and the Ballon d'Or voters will] always find a way to favour him and give him the prize," the account in question stated, with the Manchester United forward commenting "factos" beneath the piece. 

Messi may yet meet Lewandowski in the Champions League this season with PSG and Bayern facing each other in the previous two seasons. 

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Mark White

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. He is a keen player of the Football Manager series and creates Twitter accounts for his Fantasy Premier League team every year, before losing interest in his team every September.