‘I would like Messi to be SINCERE, not just giving empty words’: Ballon d’Or runner-up Robert Lewandowski slams the winner for his speech, in which he called for a 2020 prize for his closest rival, and says he doesn’t CARE about a token reward
- Robert Lewandowski has hit out at Lionel Messi’s empty words last week
- Messi, 34, usurped Lewandowski, 33 to win his seventh Ballon d’Or in France
- The Argentine said that his Polish rival ought to be awarded the 2020 prize
- However, Lewandowski has labelled Messi’s comments as ’empty words’
- The Bayern star said he does not care for a retrospectively-awarded gong
Robert Lewandowski was unconvinced by Lionel Messi’s tribute towards him at last week’s Ballon d’Or ceremony, as the Bayern Munich star labelled his rival’s comments ’empty words’.
Messi, 34, controversially pipped Lewandowski, 33, to the 2021 prize, with many fans and pundits opining that the Polish marksman was more deserving of the award.
The Bayern Munich striker was the standout performer of 2020 and was cruelly denied the Ballon d’Or that year as it was cancelled due to Covid.
Robert Lewandowski (L) has hit out at Lionel Messi’s (R) ’empty words’ at the Ballon d’Or
Messi, 34, pipped Lewandowski, 33, to the prestigious award at last week’s ceremony in Paris
In his acceptance speech, Messi said that Lewandowski should be awarded the 2020 prize
In his acceptance speech, Messi acknowledged that Lewandowski deserved the prize for 2020, and called on event organisers France Football to retrospectively hand the Pole his gong.
‘Last year everyone agreed that you were the winner and I think that France Football should give you the Ballon d’Or that you deserve,’ he said.
However, the 33-year-old was unmoved by Messi’s comments, labelling them ’empty words’ before insisting that he does not care for a token reward.
‘I’m not that enthusiastic about getting the 2020 award,’ Lewandowski told Kanale Sportowym via Marca.
Lewandowski said he does not care for a retrospectively-awarded prize, as suggested by Messi
MESSI’S ‘INSINCERE’ TRIBUTE TO LEWANDOWSKI
‘I also want to tell Robert [Lewandowski] that it is an honour for me to fight against him. I think that you deserve your Ballon d’Or.
‘Last year everyone agreed that you were the winner and I think that France Football should give you the Ballon d’Or that you deserve.
‘And you won it last year, so I hope France Football can do it and you can have it in your home, because you were just the winner.
‘It couldn’t be done because of the pandemic, but I think you should have it in your house too.’
‘I would like it [Messi’s 2020 Ballon d’Or statement] to be a sincere and courteous statement from a great player and not just an empty words.’
Reflecting on last week’s near miss, Lewandowski said: ‘I felt sadness. 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 scored 130 goals in 108 games since the start of the 2019-20 campaign, and his missing out of the top prize will serve as motivation for his Bayern Munich team-mates, Thomas Muller revealed.
Reflecting on the award ceremony, Lewandowski admitted he felt ‘sadness’ about missing out
Bayern Munich team-mate Thomas Muller (R) said the team will use his snub as motivation
‘From the Bavarian, Polish and also German point of view, last night’s Ballon d’Or award ceremony was definitely a disappointment, for some even a bit more,’ Muller said in the wake of the result.
‘Although I’ve been in the business a bit longer and therefore wasn’t really surprised about the outcome (it was similar with Franck Ribéry in 2013), the whole thing has formed or once again solidified a thought in me: We have great players in the Bundesliga and don’t have to hide.
‘For worldwide recognition, however, we need more international successes. That’s a huge motivation for me, too, to put everything on the line to bring the Champions League back to Munich and show the soccer world what’s what.
‘And above all, what German soccer has to offer. The next opportunity to do so will be next Wednesday at the Champions League match against FC Barcelona. Let’s go for it!’