Last night Germany won the Fifa World Cup for the fourth time in their history, but before they could walk up some stairs to receive the trophy, Argentina’s Lionel Messi had to walk up the aforementioned steps to collect a golden football on a stick. Now this wasn’t just any golden football on a stick, but it was in fact the fabled Fifa Golden Ball trophy, which is presented to the best player of the tournament according to footballs world governing body.
What annoys me about this is that everyone knows that Messi wasn’t the best player at the tournament. After he shone in the group stages he was average at best and a shadow of his usual self. It seems as if Fifa gave it to him out of sympathy, because beyond that, there is very little logical argument which results in Messi deserving the accolade. Below are some players who deserved the golden ball more and why;
Javier Mascherano; he had a far greater influence over Argentina after the group stages, personifying their fantastic defensive displays which got them to the final. Whilst Messi was shrugging his shoulders doing very little in the World Cup final, Mascherano was running around all over the place trying to stop the Germans any way he could. In this way he was far more deserving of the golden ball and was Argentina’s player of the tournament if not the best at the whole tournament.
Thomas Muller; named man of the match in two of Germany’s wins, the gangly forward scored an impressive 5 goals in 7 matches. Against Argentina he was less effective than in all of the previous games, where he ran riot, especially against hosts Brazil. Throughout the tournament his unpredictability caused problems and he didn’t have a bad game.
James Rodriguez; the tournaments top goalscorer lit up the tournament with 6 goals in the 5 matches, one of which being the goal of the tournament. Playing for a lesser known nation he catapulted Columbia into the quarter finals, where he was kicked out of the game by the cynical Brazilians. He truly was deserving of the golden ball trophy even if his side didn’t progress past the quarter finals, if they would’ve, he would have been a shoe-in for the trophy.
All of the above players deserved the award far more than Messi did, after what surely he himself would admit, was an average tournament. Notable mentions of players who also could have won it ahead of Messi go to Robben, Hummels, Neuer, Sanchez and Benzema.
And with this my final World Cup post has been published and now we all have to live with the World Cup blues. It has been an incredible tournament with some outstanding games and a deserved winner in a genuine team, Germany. Now all that’s left to say is, see you in four years!