The Bayern Munich star barely passed up winning a first Ballon d’Or when Messi got his seventh brilliant ball in Paris last Monday.
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Messi said during his acceptance speech, as quoted by Mirror: “You were the winner last year and France Football should give you the award. You deserve it, you should have it at home too.”
Lewandowski was then reported to have aired his frustrations on Polish show Moc Futbolu on TV station Kanale Sportowym, sparking speculation of a rift between the two contenders.
But the 33-year-old has moved to clear up the matter, explaining: “My statement, which I made in an interview with a Polish TV/Viaplay broadcaster, is currently being taken out of context.
“I never said that Lionel Messi’s words were not sincere.
“On the contrary: Lionel Messi’s speech at the event in Paris, in which he expressed that, in his opinion, I deserved the Ballon d’Or 2020, was very kind.
“With my statement, I just wanted to express that I would of course be very happy if Messi’s words were heard.
“I respect and appreciate Lionel Messi beyond measure and once again I would like to congratulate him on winning the Ballon d’Or 2021.”
“We were the better team and deserved to win,” Thomas Tuchel told a press...