Lionel Messi didn’t deserve Golden Ball Award claims Diego Maradona
Argentina ace declared the best player of the tournament by Fifa despite outstanding performances from Muller, Robben and Rodriguez
July 14th, 2014
Lionel Messi cut a disconsolate figure on Sunday night after his Argentina side were beaten in extra-time of the 2014 World Cup final. Messi missed a second-half chance to potentially win the trophy for his country, although there was some consolation by virtue of the fact that he was awarded the Golden Ball after being deemed the best player of the tournament.
While Messi undoubtedly played a major role in his team’s route to the final, quite whether he was the outstanding player is another matter. Diego Maradona certainly didn’t agree with his compatriot winning the trophy.
“Messi? I would give him heaven if possible,” the 1986 World Cup winner said on his television show on Telesur. “But it’s not right when someone wins something that he shouldn’t have won just because of some marketing plan.
“I also don’t understand the substitution of Lavezzi. He was phenomenal down the wing. Kun Agüero didn’t have the same impact. It was not his tournament,” he said.
Messi couldn’t get off the stage quickly enough when collecting his prize and claimed that Argentina would have been the deserving winner.
“Right now I don’t care about the prize. I don’t care about anything. I wanted to take Argentina to the World Cup for all the people,” Messi told Spanish newspaper AS.
“We deserved it a bit more after the game we played. It’s very painful to lose the way we did because we were near penalties.
“I believe this World Cup deserved another final because we had chances. We reached the final, while other Argentinians didn’t get past the quarter-finals. But we’re disappointed not to have won this game. There’s a lot of anger.
“While they had control of the ball I think we had the clearer chances. We weren’t lucky enough to be able to take them but I believe our chances were clear.
“We had three clear chances – mine [Gonzalo Higuain’s] and Rodrigo Palacio, but we couldn’t get it. Now we have to go forward.”