Qatar 2022 may not start until November but with the group stage draw already set, it feels like the FIFA World Cup has already begun. The groups have been defined, expectations are sky-high and fans can't wait for the official kick-off.
The draw looks favorable to Argentina, as the 2021 Copa America champions were drawn with Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Poland. La Albiceleste should be able to punch their ticket to the knockout phase but not without sweating in the process.
Besides El Tri, who have a history of World Cup meetings against them, the Poland fixture will be quite interesting for world soccer as it may see Lionel Messi face Robert Lewandowski after a much heated race for the 2021 Ballon d'Or award.
FIFA World Cup draw sets up Messi vs. Lewandowski duel in Qatar 2022
This would normally be an exciting matchup because of the world-class players in question, but the controversy sparked during their latest battle for the Ballon d'Or will certainly fuel the excitement around this clash.
Lewandowski and Messi were leading the race for the coveted trophy a few months ago but the Argentine eventually had the upper hand, bringing home a world-record seventh Ballon d'Or. That didn't sit well with everyone, especially with the Pole striker, who took a shot at Messi.
The PSG star had a lot of praise for Lewandowski when he received the award, claiming that the Bayern ace deserved to have won the trophy by now - he was favorite to win in 2020 but the ceremony was canceled.
However, Lewandowski made a lot of noise later by saying that he expected Messi's comments to be sincere and not just "empty words." He would later clarify that statement, saying that he felt 'touched' by Messi's speech in the Ballon d'Or gala. "I just wanted to express that, of course, I would be really happy if Messi's words were heard," Lewandowski said.
Well, things may have calmed down since then, Messi never fired back at Lewandowski - or at least not publicly. By the time they face in Qatar, almost a year will have passed since those controversial comments.