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The Best voting: Lewandowski reacts to being snubbed by Messi

Robert Lewandowski, Lionel Messi
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The Argentine did not include Lewandowski in his three votes for men’s player of the year.

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Robert Lewandowski won the Best FIFA Men’s Player of the year for the second year in a row on Monday. The Polish striker finished above Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah in the awards’ final rankings.

Voting as Poland’s captain, Lewandowski selected Jorginho, Messi, and Cristiano Ronaldo as his picks for the award. However, his gesture was not reciprocated by Messi. The Argentine icon selected his PSG teammates Neymar and Kylian Mbappe alongside Karim Benzema.

Messi praised Lewandowski after beating him in a controversial Ballon d’Or race earlier this year. The PSG star even tipped the France Football to hand the 2020 Ballon d’Or to the Polish striker.

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In an interview after winning the Best award, Lewandowski reacted to Messi’s votes.

He told reporters (via 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.”

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Asked about his own votes, the 33-year-old added: “I always look at attacking players but what Jorginho won means a lot. You always have to remain neutral,” 

“He also scored important goals despite being a number six. The year, for him, was insane with Chelsea and Italy.

“There’s no need to talk about Messi and Ronaldo. No matter where Ronaldo plays, he always shows his best quality. That’s my explanation why I picked him third.”

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The Best or the Ballon d’Or?

Following an incredible campaign that saw Lewandowski score 41 Bundesliga goals, the Polish star has continued his form this season. The Bayern star is leading Europe’s goalscoring charts once again as the Bavarians top the Bundesliga table with a six-point clearance.

Asked whether he prefers FIFA’s Best Awards over the Ballon d’Or, Lewandowski responded: “Every award has different rules. For me, it is always most important when the players and coaches vote.

“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.

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“Prizes with the team are the biggest. I’m mostly focused on those prizes.”