Robert Lewandowski has no regrets not having received a vote from Lionel Messi for the FIFA's Best male player awards of 2021. While Portuguese superstar Ronaldo placed the Bayern Munich striker on first position in his voting, the Argentine striker left him out in his choice for the first three.
After Messi outpaced the 33-year-old Pole in last years' Ballon d'Or, Lewandowski managed to turn things around and won the FIFA award by four votes ahead of Messi and Liverpool's Mohammed Salah (9 votes behind).
"You have to ask him about his voting," the Bayern striker said in an interview to Xinhua. "I think I didn't do anything wrong and gave him reason to be upset aside from maybe sporting reasons. It was his decision not to vote for me and I respect that," said Lewandowski.
Lewandowski said he is not upset and can't say anything negative about his award rival.
"At the Ballon d'Or, he voted me as the second. Now it's a different competition. Maybe it's why I voted him second at the Ballon d'Or," the 2020 treble winner said.
While the Ballon d'Or is a competition with only journalists voting, the 'Best award' is run by half of the voters recruited out of national coaches and international players.
Lewandowski rated the 'Best award' above the Ballon d'Or. Awards get important when coaches and players do "the main voting", the Bayern striker added.
"They know what it means to be and stay at a top level," the attacker said. Awards one wins with his team's support are the most important ones, the Polish team captain added. A vote like this goes beyond statistics, he said.
The Bayern player voted for Chelsea's midfielder Jorginho as first followed by Messi and Ronaldo. "Jorginho scored important goals as a midfield six; that means something."
Lewandowski praised Ronaldo for delivering the highest level "no matter for what club he is playing."
After having scored his 300th goal in the national league, the Bayern forward said he is thinking about new records.
By scoring 41 goals last season, the Pole broke the nearly 50-year-old national league season record of German icon Gerd Muller (40 season goals 1971/72). Muller's 365 career goals in the national league seem within reach.
"It's nothing for this season. And everything else is a thing of the next years," Lewandowski said.
The Pole said there is no need to talk about a contract extension as his current one expires in 2023.
He also indicated he won't be retiring before the age of 35.
"I do a lot of things to keep at the top, but I still discover new things around my body. I gained a lot of experience that makes me currently stay in the best shape," he said.
He is looking forward to another fruitful season with Bayern. "If you manage to deliver a satisfying performance on the pitch it doesn't play a role for what club you play," he said.