RIO DE JANEIRO.
Argentina star Lionel Messi said winning the Golden Ball meant nothing after his side’s loss in the Fifa World Cup final.
Mario Gotze’s 113th-minute volley saw Germany to a 1-0 win at the Maracana, giving the European nation their fourth world crown.
Messi was surprisingly awarded the Golden Ball as the best player at the tournament after scoring four goals, none of which came in the knockout stages.
The Barcelona forward said that meant nothing after his team’s devastating loss.
“This was a chance to give the fans some joy after all the sadness,” Messi said. “Golden Ball is not important. All I wanted was to lift the cup.”
Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said: “Messi played a great World Cup.
He was absolutely fundamental to us getting where he did. He deserves any award.”
Aside from Messi, Argentina had two nominees – Ángel di María and Javier Mascherano. Germany provided four candidates: Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller.
Neymar was the only candidate from Brazil on the list, which was selected by Fifa’s technical study group of coaching analysts.
Arjen Robben of Holland and James Rodríguez of Colombia, winner of the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals, completed the list.
Germany’s Manuel Neuer, 28, won the Golden Glove awarded to the best goalkeeper at the tournament.
France’s Paul Pogba was named the World Cup’s best young player, while Colombia were given the fair play award.
The 21-year-old made five appearances at this summer’s tournament, scoring once against the African side and providing an assist in the 5-2 win over Switzerland.
Pogba previously won the Golden Ball award at the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
SOURCE: Daily Monitor