Barcelona legend Lionel Messi has admitted he was pretty upset with Robert Lewandowski after the striker spoke out about missing out on the Ballon d’Or in 2021.
Messi took the award instead and spoke kindly about Lewandowski, saying how he had deserved it the previous year when it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Lewandowski reportedly questioned whether Messi’s words were sincere, comments he has since said were misinterpreted, which did not go down well with the GOAT.
The ill-feeling between the two players seemd to linger and was spotted when Argentina took on Poland at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Messi has now admitted he did target Lewandowski during the game because he was pretty mad at the striker.
“Lewandowski’s statement in 2021 bothered me because when I won the Ballon d’Or I said what I really felt,” he told ESPN.
“I ignored him during the game because it was him and I was angry and thought he shouldn’t have said what he said. I was very angry. If I was deliberately dribbling because it was him? Yes.
“After that we met and talked and agreed that it was a misunderstanding. He was upset because what he said didn’t match what was reported. Then he went to Barcelona and we talked about many things about the club, the city and everything.”
Messi’s Argentina team-mate Angel Di Maria has also recently said the GOAT deliberately targeted Lewandowski during the game.
“Even my grandma noticed that Messi was purposely taunting Lewandowski. It’s a thing he does sometimes,” he said in a Star+ documentary .Champions, a year later.’
“When you speak about him, he tries to talk on the pitch. Sometimes, people don’t respect Messi and don’t know that he’s the best player of all time. You can’t Leo him anything because he get’s angry, and it’s worse for them.”
Lewandowski and Messi were spotted chatting at the end of the game but neither revealed what was said. However, they did appear to be on good terms at the Laureus ceremony in May when Lewandoski said Messi’s eyes “lit up” when the spoke about Barcelona.