Lionel Messi has provided an insight into the reasoning behind his tough treatment of Robert Lewandowski at last year’s World Cup.
Messi and Lewandowski, of course, locked horns on the international stage in Qatar, during a group stage meeting between Argentina and Poland.
The former ultimately came out on top, owing to goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julián Álvarez.
Post-match, though, it was the tense atmosphere between the respective countries’ star performers which stole the headlines.
Messi, for his part, was spotted giving Lewandowski the cold shoulder throughout the 90 minutes, even seemingly targeting the Pole with his dribbling.
This came after ‘Lewa’ responded poorly to Messi’s kind words regarding the striker missing out on the Ballon d’Or trophy.
“I would have liked his words to be honest and not something empty,” the veteran goalscorer sniped, following Messi’s suggestion that Lewandowski was deserving of the 2020 Ballon d’Or, left unawarded owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
And, evidently, such comments did not sit at all well with the world’s greatest player.
Speaking in an interview with ESPN Argentina today, Messi was drawn on his behaviour towards Lewandowski en route to sealing World Cup glory.
And the Inter Miami star was not shy in admitting that he was indeed ‘angry’ with the comments of the then-Bayern Munich man:
“Lewandowski’s statement bothered me because when I won the Ballon d’Or I said the thing I was feeling, but his talking like that bothered me. I ignored him because I was angry and thought he shouldn’t have said what he said. I was angry.“
From here, though, Messi confirmed that the pair have since made up, bonding over Lewandowski’s move to Barcelona:
“After that, we met, talked, and agreed that it was a misunderstanding. In Barcelona, we talked about many things related to the club, the city and everything.”
Conor Laird | GSFN