Lionel Messi named World Cup's best player
Lionel Messi has won the 2014 Fifa Golden Ball awarded to the best player of World Cup tournament.
Messi, who won four man-of-the-match awards throughout the tournament but did not influence the final against Germany in Rio de Janeiro in the way that he would have liked, was chosen from a 10-player list of candidates who were announced on the eve of the final, with seven of the nominees coming from the finalists, Argentina and Germany.
His man of the match performances came early in the competition against Switzerland, Nigeria, Iran and Bosnia-Herzegovina.
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 Müller.
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.
The Golden Glove award for the tournament’s outstanding goalkeeper went to Germany’s Manuel Neuer. France’s Paul Pogba was named the World Cup’s best young player, while Colombia were given the fair play award.