FIFA Mix Up ‘Biggest Name’ With ‘Best Player’, Give Lionel Messi 2014 World Cup Golden Ball

Alan Duffy

14th, July 2014


By Alan Duffy


Even poor old Lionel Messi looked a little sheepish when collecting the Golden Ball award last night after Argentina’s final defeat against Germany.

Out of a pool of nominated players including Germany’s Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller, Toni Kroos and Philipp Lahm, Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Angel Di Maria as well as Neymar, Arjen Robben and James Rodriguez, FIFA’s technical team (along with members of the media) somehow decided that the Albiceleste captain had been the most consistently good player of the tournament.

Surely Messi wasn’t even the best Argentinian player in the tournament,  with Mascherano outstanding throughout. While Toni Kroos (despite a mediocre final), Arjen Robben and James Rodriguez surely deserved the prize more than the Barcelona superstar? I guess the FIFA marketing people had just as much input as their ‘Technical Study Group’.

As for the other prizes, Manuel Neuer deservedly won the Golden Glove gong, six-goal hero James Rodriguez won the Golden Boot and France’s Paul Pogba won the Young Player of the Tournament, again a bit of a controversial one as despite his undoubted talent, the Juve midfielder was hardly at his best in Brazil.

Posted in International football, Newsnow, World Cup

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  1. Del says:

    In my humble opinion getting your team to the final deserves something

  2. Grizzly says:

    Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben and Mascherano topped my list. Messi wasn’t even in my top ten. Apart from very occasional flashes of brilliance, he didn’t really have a great tournament. But whoever thinks that Qatar is a good place to hold a football tournament clearly isn’t best placed to make such decisions.

  3. Wilma says:

    He won more games single-handedly than anyone else. Individual awards are pointless in a team sport, anyway.

  4. Mauer says:

    The award is sponsored by Adidas. Blatter was sitting next to Putin during the final. How I wish FIFA didn’t have the de facto monopoly for such a great ‘product’.

  5. Joe says:

    Messi won the most Man of the Match awards with 4, so it was based purely on that statistic.

  6. the same know it all from the other day says:

    Messi was actually the best player of the world cup according to the stats – and not the fifa stats, by the way – so I don’t understand why people keep saying he shouldn’t be considered the best player in the cup. he was 1st in key passes, 1st in dribles, 3rd in shots and 3rd in goals, he contributed to 50% of his team’s goals (the same as James) and he was the man of the match 4 times in a row. Fairly, James or even Robben could have won it too, they were almost as good as Messi was, but Messi got is team to the final, they didn’t (James only played 4 games on the starting line up), i guess that was the deciding factor for this choice. so, stop whining people, the statistically best player of the tournament won the award, there’s nothing wrong in my book about that.
    the more you know

  7. Yute says:

    Not deserving of the the trophy & you can tell by his expression. James,Robben,Mascherano. Got to be one of those players.

  8. Adam says:

    Messi did not deserve it. He won it on popularity. Mascherano was a much better option if they wanted to give it to an Argentine player. Also to the guy with all the stats to back up why Messi deserved it. The only one of your stats that would really involve defense is the MotM category. All the others are severely midfield and forward biased. However, MotM is a fan voted award so again that’s a popularity contest and Messi will win those all day long.

  9. JuanosDios says:

    Ha ha, not even in a top ten. That’s really objective analysis right there. There may be others that could have won it, but Messi stood tall and took the first spot kick for his team in the semifinal shootout like a captain and leader should. Set the tone and built confidence in the group. Robben, on the other hand, let Ron Vlaar take the most important spot kick of the shootout. Van Gaal said two players deferred on that initial spot kick, and I can only assume he wanted Robben, his best player, to take it and he declined. But Vlaar took it, missed, and there you go.

  10. know it all, again says:

    I’m not refering to the MotM chosen by fifa, so it’s not fan voted. I’m using the same source i used for the other stats – WhoScored – which is, in my opinion, the most complete football stats site there is. If they say Messi was the best player of the tournament, based on that and my viewing of the games I agree. I also think that attacking players had the best display of the world cup, but, if I wanted to give the award to a defence player, the best rated one (besides Ricardo Rodriguez, who only played 4 matches) would be Stefan de Vrij. Mascherano had more tackles per game than him but he had more interceptions, clearances and was dribbled by other players less often.
    Also, i’m not using the stats “to back Messi”, I have no personal interest in Messi winning the award over any other player, since i’m not Argentine, an Argentina fan, a Barça fan, a Messi follower or a fifa employee. I’m just a “fan” of fairness and that was statistically fair, at least from an offensive point of view, as you stated. Messi even had 1.6 tackles per game, not bad for an attacking player I reckon, Kroos was the only nominated with more, besides the defenders.
    I’ll skip the the more you know part this time…

  11. B13 via Blendon says:

    In fairness to Messi, he did try to relinquish the award with that final free kick.

  12. Kingsland101 says:

    Blatter actually said he was surprised that it was awarded to Messi too, along with Maradona, so there you go.

    Stats mean crap anyway. It’s a team sport so it’s all about contribution, which isn’t reflected by stats, and Messi was constantly static

  13. Fat Nakago says:

    Messi obviously didn’t want me damned thing. I almost expected him to hand the thing to Mascherano or someone.

  14. Jarren says:

    Poor Messi, you could see he just wanted to get the first flight back to Barcelona and take a few weeks off.

    I agree with Kingsland101 to a degree. Statistics are very good on paper but they don’t take into account desire, passion and influence.

    We all thought Messi had a rather quiet WC (taking into consideration he is the best player in the world), yet he still got best player.

    Sponsorship deals? Brand expansion? Or just shit judgement?

    You know something’s truly twisted when even Blatter is like wtf.

  15. Porcelain Sandwich says:

    He did all his work at the start of the tournament, and that was in games against Iran, Bosnia and Nigeria. I think I could have won the award if I was only judged in games against them.

  16. KevinW says:

    And quite frankly, Neuer did not deserve the golden glove either. There were four or five better than him in this tournament.

  17. paul says:

    nice picture. the best goalkeeper and the best player of the world cup and messi on the right.

    ***just joking***

  18. debiesam says:

    Nobody was marked as heavily as Messi. They were all over him. Whole team strategies changed when Messi was on the field. Even so, he managed 5 goals and an assist, and he got his team to the final. I think he deserved it.

  19. mohammed says:

    I am not a messi fan but truth be spoken he really deserved the accolade I mean to those who think arjen robben deserved the award please stop I mean the award is for the best player of the tournament and robben cheated on the world cup against Mexico by diving so is that a player who deserves good no guys even James he just scored goals never worked as the Argentine maestro he never got 4 or 5 players around him everytime he touched the ball and still gets not even my favorite player ronaldo.I never wanted to admit to my friends bcoz of my support to c.ronaldo but messi proved me wrong again & again the guy is the best and he deserved whatever was coming his way at the fifa world cup.

  20. Robin says:

    Fifa corrupt.
    Messi weren’t any good after the group stage against 3 highly ordinary opponents.

  21. Michael says:

    Messi go! You rock dude!

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