Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski finished first and second, respectively, in the 2021 Ballon d’Or voting, and will face off in Qatar.
Messi saw off stiff competition from Lewandowski to win his seventh Ballon d’Or last year, although the Polish striker scored 58 goals to Messi’s 34 in club action in 2021.
Following that triumph, Messi called for Lewandowski to be presented with the 2020 Ballon d’Or, with the award not being awarded after the COVID-19 pandemic affected football that year.
With Poland facing Argentina in their third group stage match at the World Cup later this month, Lewandowski says he does not begrudge Messi for winning the award.
Asked if he would shake hands with Messi to clear the air before the teams meet, Lewandowski said: “I don’t understand the question exactly.
“Why not? Why should I shake hands? Everything is fine between me and Messi. I have nothing wrong with him, never have.”
“Leo Messi is in great form. You can see everywhere in Barcelona that he is a legend.”
Poland open their Group C campaign against Mexico on Tuesday, with Lewandowski looking to score his first World Cup goal after failing to find the net at the 2018 tournament in Russia.
The Barcelona forward contributed 13 goals in Poland’s World Cup qualifying campaign (nine goals, four assists) – more than twice as many as any of his international team-mates.
Czeslaw Michniewicz’s side will be hoping to put aside their poor record in their World Cup openers against Mexico, having started just one of their eight previous campaigns at the tournament with a win (D3 L4) in 1974 when they beat Argentina 3-2.