The Bayern Munich star explains what separates Lionel Messi from Cristiano Ronaldo.
Lionel Messi won his seventh Ballon d’Or award last month after beating Robert Lewandowski in a close race. The decision drew widespread criticism from footballing figures and fans who believed Lewandowski deserved the award.
Messi took his Ballon d’Or tally to seven, two more than his long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the controversial rankings of this year have only led to more discussion around who is the greatest footballer of all time.
In a new interview with German outlet Bild, Lewandowski explained the difference between the two icons.
He said (via Mirror): “Since I became a professional, Messi and Ronaldo have been above everyone else.
“It has always been a duel between them. It’s all about what kind of player you prefer.
“The answer to the question (of which is superior) is difficult.
“I respect the hard work of Cristiano Ronaldo. For Messi, everything seems easy.
“I think Cristiano has had to work harder to succeed.”
Messi won the Copa America trophy with Argentina last summer, ending his country’s 28-year major trophy drought. He also won a Coppa del Rey trophy with Barcelona before leaving the club to join PSG.
On the other hand, Lewandowski won the treble with Bayern in 2020. But, France Football decided to cancel the award due to COVID-19 concerns.
In 2021, the striker won a Bundesliga title and a Club World Cup. He also broke Gerd Muller’s record for most Bundesliga goals in a season while winning his first European Golden Boot. However, these titles were not enough to win him the Ballon d’Or.
Asked whether he hopes to win the award in the coming years, the 33-year-old added:
“These are small details, everything has to be in its place,” he added.
“What I can guarantee is that I will continue to do my job and provide my best performances.”