Paris Saint-Germain forward Lionel Messi was awarded the 2021 Ballon d’Or last month. After receiving the award at France Football’s Ballon d’Or ceremony, he offered a shoutout to Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski, where he noted that the Polish striker deserved to have picked up a Ballon d’Or win last year.
In speaking to the German-based outlet Sport Bild, Lewandowski looked back on last month’s Ballon d’Or ceremony, where he also opened up on just what it meant to have Messi publicly proclaim that France Football should have awarded him with the honor for last year.
“With Leo, I could only speak a few words directly, because my Spanish is not very good,” Lewandowski said. “But Kylian was sitting next to me. With him, I could talk in English, he then translated for Leo. It was really a great evening.
“Leo Messi’s words on stage in my direction touched me. Those were not empty words, that was a beautiful moment in my career.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, France Football opted to not hand out the Ballon d’Or award last year, which garnered much criticism. Many see that Lewandowski would have been the runaway winner for the coveted world football honor last year, especially as he led Bayern Munich to UEFA Champions League triumph and set numerous records in Bundesliga play.
Both Messi and Lewandowski may once again emerge as top contenders for this prestigious award next year.