'Between me and Messi, everything is fine' – Lewandowski harbours no Ballon d'Or grudge ahead of World Cup meeting
Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski finished first and second, respectively, in the 2021 Ballon d'Or voting, and will face off in Qatar.
Robert Lewandowski harbours no ill will towards Poland's World Cup adversary Lionel Messi following the duo's battle to land the 2021 Ballon d'Or.
Messi saw off fierce competition from Lewandowski to capture his seventh Ballon d'Or last year, despite the Poland striker scoring 58 goals to Messi's 34 in club action in 2021.
In the aftermath of that triumph, Messi called for Lewandowski to be handed the 2020 Ballon d'Or, with the prize not being awarded after the COVID-19 pandemic impacted football that year.
With Poland set to face Argentina in their third group-stage match at the World Cup later this month, Lewandowski says he does not resent Messi for claiming the prize.
Asked whether he would shake hands with Messi to clear the air ahead of the teams' meeting, Lewandowski said: "I don't exactly understand the question.
"Why not? Why would I need to shake hands? Between me and Messi, everything is fine. I have nothing [bad] with him, I never had.
"Leo Messi is in great shape. At Barcelona, you can see everywhere he's a legend."
Poland will begin their Group C campaign against Mexico on Tuesday, with Lewandowski looking to score his first World Cup goal after failing to find the net at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
The Barcelona striker contributed to 13 goals in Poland's World Cup qualification campaign (nine goals, four assists) – more than twice as many as any of his international team-mates.
Czeslaw Michniewicz's side will hope to cast aside their poor record in World Cup openers against Mexico, having only started one of their eight previous campaigns at the tournament with a win (D3 L4), beating Argentina 3-2 in 1974.