Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has revealed what he thinks separates Cristiano Ronaldo from Lionel Messi.
After more than a decade of elite competition between the Portuguese and Argentine superstars, it appears that a new name has entered the fold, with Lewandowski having become sensationally prolific in front of goal over the past few years.
With Ronaldo and Messi's success over the years being somewhat of a benchmark, the Poland international – who was recently named as a nominee for the 2021 FIFA FIFPro World 11 team, which will be announced on 17 January 2022 – has now revealed his thoughts on their careers.
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"I respect Cristiano Ronaldo's hard work," the Bavarians striker told German news outlet Bild.
"For Messi, everything looks easy.
"I think Cristiano had to work harder for his success."
After Messi said in his 2021 Ballon d'Or acceptance speech that the Pole deserved to win the 2020 edition of the prize, comments made by Lewandowski in response were seemingly misinterpreted, leading many to believe he was taking a swipe at the Paris Saint-Germain forward at the time.
The 33-year-old has once again clarified his response to Messi's Golden Ball speech, insisting that the Argentine's words meant a lot to him.
"Messi's words towards me [about the Ballon d'Or] really touched me," Lewandowski told Bild.
"They weren't empty words, it was a nice moment in my career.
"I only spoke a few words with Leo [face to face on the night], because my Spanish is not that good. I spoke with Kylian [Mbappe] in English, he then translated for Leo. It was a great night."
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