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Messi praises Lewandowski in Ballon d'Or speech

By Rune Gjerulff   @runegjerulff

Robert Lewandowski deserves to be retrospectively awarded the 2020 Ballon d'Or, according to 2021 winner Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi.
Lionel Messi.Photo: OneFootball
Paris Saint-Germain star Lionel Messi was crowned with his seventh Ballon d'Or award in Paris last night, finishing ahead of Bayern München forward Robert Lewandowski, who came in second place.

Lewandowski was seen as the huge favorite to win football's most prestigious individual award last year, but France Football, who hands out the Ballon d'Or, decided to cancel it because the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the season.

In his acceptance speech on Monday, Messi hailed Lewandowski, saying he believes the Bayern München forward deserves to be retrospectively awarded the 2020 Ballon d'Or.

"I would like to mention Robert Lewandowski, it's been a real honor to compete with you. Everyone knows and we agree that you were the winner last year. I think France Football should award you your 2020 Ballon d’Or – you deserve it and you should have it at home," said Messi.

"I think Robert Lewandowski had a great year. Year after year, he improves and shows the excellent striker he is, as well as his ability to score goals. This year he was awarded as the top scorer. Of course he can certainly aspire to that level next year, thanks to his way of being on the pitch. And in addition, he plays for a big club."

Check out Messi's speech below.

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