The Messi and Lewandowski incident: What happens on the pitch, stays on the pitch

One of the most striking images of the Poland vs Argentina came as the game entered its final minutes, Robert Lewandowski fouled Lionel Messi after being dribble past with ease by the latter. When Robert went to ask for forgiveness, the Argentine did not even look at the Polish striker and stared into the distance.

At the end of the game, both players remained on the pitch chatting for a few moments and hugged each other, making peace.

Already in the mixed zone, Messi was asked about the incident.

“I respect everyone, both on and off the field and there is no problem,” Messi said to Onda Cero. He did not want to reveal what he had discussed with Lewandowski.

“It’s nothing, nothing. He doesn’t speak Spanish… and I was taught that everything that happens on the pitch stays on the pitch and everything that happens in the dressing room stays in the dressing room.

“I won’t give anything away.”

For his part, Lewandowski discussed the matter with the Polish press.

“It was an interesting battle. The thing with Leo was just a curious moment,” the Barcelona forward said. “We exchanged a few words, but nothing special”.

An old battle

The truth is that Messi and Lewandowski have had some disagreements in the past. The Pole spoke about Messi‘s words after winning the 2021 Ballon d’Or, in which the Argentine suggested that the 2020 Ballon d’Or, which was not awarded because of the pandemic, should go to Lewandowski.

“I would like it to be a sincere statement from a great player and not empty words,” said Lewandowski, and he later had to clarify his words.

At the presentation of The Best 2021 award won by Lewandowski, the now-Barcelona player was also disgruntled to learn that Messi did not vote for him.

“Why didn’t Messi vote for me? Ask him,” he said.

Messi’s anger after his penalty miss

Then, Messi assessed the victory that qualified Argentina as first in the group and the penalty he missed with 0-0 on the scoreboard.

“I’m angry for missing the penalty but I think the team came out stronger after that mistake of mine. We knew that once the first goal went in, it was going to change the game,” said the Argentine star, who surpassed Diego Armando Maradona for World Cup appearances with the national team.

Messi commented on the round of 16 match against Australia.

“It’s going to be very difficult. Anyone can beat anyone. Everything is very evenly matched. We have to train for the match in the best way as we always do,” Messi said.

“We must be calm and go game by game. Now, another World Cup begins and hopefully we can maintain what we have done so far.”