Robert Lewandowski showed his class after missing out on the 2021 Ballon d’Or award to Lionel Messi on Monday.
Messi claimed the prestigious individual accolade for a record-breaking seventh time in Paris.
The 34-year-old received 613 points in total, which was enough to beat Lewandowski’s tally of 580 points. Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho came third with 460 points.
However, Lewandowski didn’t end the night empty-handed. The Bayern Munich and Poland star was named Striker of the Year after breaking Gerd Muller’s long-standing record for most goals in a Bundesliga season.
Lewandowski scored a remarkable 41 goals in 29 league games last term. The prolific 33-year-old has also scored 14 goals in 13 Bundesliga fixtures (and 25 goals in all competitions) already this campaign.
Did Lewandowski deserve the 2020 Ballon d'Or?
Many football fans believe that Lewandowski deserves to be retrospectively named winner of the cancelled 2020 Ballon d’Or.
In his winners’ speech, Messi even said: "You deserve your Ballon d’Or. Last year, everyone was in agreement to say that you were the big winner."
Lewandowski sends message to Messi
But Lewandowski was proud of his Striker of the Year award and began his social media post by praising Messi for adding another Ballon d’Or award to his collection.
“To start, I would like to congratulate Lionel Messi,” Lewandowski wrote on Instagram alongside a clapping emoji. “Ballon d’Or Winner.”
Classy stuff from arguably the world’s best No. 9.
Lewandowski's Instagram post after Ballon d'Or ceremony
“I want to thank every single journalist who voted for me, and believed that my achievements were important in 2021,” he added.
“I won Striker Of The Year Award and no player can win an individual award without the strongest team and loyal fans behind him. And for me it’s no different. I want to thank my club Bayern Munich for the platform they’ve given me to succeed and to achieve my dreams. I want to thank my teammates from the Polish National Team and from Bayern Munich. I also want to thank my fans for supporting me every single day it means a lot to me.
“And the most important thing, huge thanks to my family. Thank you Mom, thank you Anna - you are the love of my life and my best friend, thanks to my sister Milena and to my friends and management team for the continuous support, the foundation of my achievements.
What a wonderful heartfelt statement that is from a player who could be forgiven if he felt a tad bitter about being denied this year’s Ballon d’Or.
The Pole conducts himself with as much class off the pitch as he does on it.
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