Lewandowski: The snub was Messi's choice

World News

Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski has responded to being snubbed by Lionel Messi in the voting for The Best FIFA Men's Player 2021 award.

Messi and Lewandowski once again faced off in a battle for yet another prestigious individual award this week, this time alongside Liverpool star Mohamed Salah.

However, unlike the 2021 Ballon d'Or that was claimed by the Argentine, the Polish striker came out tops on Monday when he was named The Best FIFA Men's Player 2021, an award he won in 2020 as well.

Scroll through the gallery below to see all the major award winners from 2021 The Best FIFA Football Awards ceremony on Monday, including the FIFA FIFPRO World 11

During his 2021 Ballon d'Or victory speech, Messi lauded Lewandowski for his outstanding performances and even suggested that the organisers of the award, France Football, should give the Bayern marksman the 2020 Golden Ball, the handing out of which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Messi's vote of confidence for the former Borussia Dortmund striker seemingly ended there, however, as he did not include the forward in his top three votes for the Best Men's Player award, opting for Paris Saint-Germain teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in first and second place, respectively, while his third-place vote went to Real Madrid star Karim Benzema.

Read: CR7 & Messi's FIFA POTY votes revealed

Lewandowski, on the other hand, included Messi in second spot in his voting, and chose Jorginho in first place and Cristiano Ronaldo in third.

Asked about the contrast between Messi's comments at the Ballon d'Or ceremony in November and his voting choices for The Best FIFA prize, Lewandowski said a press conference, per Goal: "Those were very nice words from him.

"Now regarding his choice: the question has to be asked of him. I didn't do anything wrong that he can be mad at me – except sporting things.

"Privately, I hope everything was okay. That was his choice, I have to respect that. I don't have to say anything negative or be mad."

The Pole was also quizzed about which prize he prefers between the Best FIFA Men's award and the Ballon d'Or.

"Every award has different rules. For me, it is always most important when the players and coaches vote." he responded.

"They know what it means to play at the top level. For me, that's worth more than when there are no players and coaches.

"Prizes with the team are the biggest. I'm mostly focused on those prizes."

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