Berlin – Argentina’s superstar Lionel Messi is indifferent to Robert Lewandowski’s view of the world footballer vote: “Everyone can say what they want. Him too, of course.”

“I don’t share his opinion, to be honest. He can say what he wants. I don’t care,” Messi said in an interview on Argentina’s TyC Sports television channel.

Messi had not voted for Lewandowski in the 2021 FIFA World Player of the Year poll in January, leaving out the 33-year-old, who plans to leave FC Bayern Munich in the summer. The Pole nevertheless won for the second time in a row and afterwards reacted cautiously to the Paris Saint-Germain attacker’s voting behaviour. In November 2021, Lewandowski had finished second to Messi in the Ballon d’Or despite an outstanding season. At the time, Messi had declared that he would like Lewandowski to receive the Golden Ball of the French magazine “France Football”, which was not awarded in 2020, retrospectively.

“My words came from the heart at that moment because I really felt that way. I said he deserved the Ballon d’Or once before because the year before I thought he was the best. But the year I won, he wasn’t the best. But let him see it how he wants,” said the 34-year-old, who has won the Golden Ball seven times and FIFA’s World Player of the Year vote six times.

For Messi, meanwhile, there is no way around Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema in this year’s vote. The French international striker played a big part in winning the Champions League and the Spanish championship. “I think this year there is no doubt. Benzema had a spectacular year,” said Messi, who was knocked out by the Royals in the last 16 with PSG – through Benzema’s three goals in the second leg. Real had not been the best team in the Champions League, he said. “Still, they beat everyone. But the best doesn’t always win,” Messi said.