‘I’m not going to pay!’: Wojciech Szczesny reveals €100 bet with Lionel Messi over World Cup penalty

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Wojciech Szczesny has revealed he made a €100 bet with Lionel Messi over whether their collision during Argentina’s World Cup win over Poland would be given as a penalty.

The Poland goalkeeper rushed out to punch a cross but missed the ball and clattered into a leaping Messi during the first half of the crucial Group C encounter at Stadium 974. The referee, Danny Makkelie, did not deem the incident a penalty but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) intervened and instructed the on-field official to check his pitch-side monitor.

As the players waited for the decision, Szczesny says he was so confident over the outcome that he bet Messi €100 that the referee would not change his mind. Cameras then showed Szczesny offer up a wry smile as the referee duly awarded the spot-kick.

“No I didn’t,” Szczesny said, when asked by Norway’s TV2Sport if he thought it would be given as a penalty. “We spoke before the penalty, I told him I can bet him €100 that he wasn’t going to give it. So I’ve lost the bet against Messi. I don’t know if that’s allowed at the World Cup, I’m probably gonna get banned for it. I don’t care right now.”

Szczesny had the last laugh as he made a brilliant save to deny Messi from opening the scoring. Argentina went on to win 2-0 as both teams progressed to the knockout stages in Qatar, with Poland narrowly edging out Mexico on goal difference.

“I’m not going to pay him either,” Szczesny added. “He doesn’t care about €100, come on.” He has enough? “Yeah, I think so.”

Argentina will take on Group D runners-up Australia in the round of 16 on Saturday, while Poland will play the reigning champions France.

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