14 Jul 2014

Messi wins Golden Ball

12:31 pm on 14 July 2014

FIFA awarded Lionel Messi the 'Golden Ball' as the top player of the football World Cup after the Argentina captain led his side to the final at the Maracana where they lost to Germany 1-0 in extra time.

The four-times world player of the year had a quiet game by his standards against Germany but scored four of his team's six goals in the group stage.

He also set up Angel di Maria's winner in the last 16 against Switzerland and shouldered the burden of slotting home Argentina's first penalty in their shootout win over the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

Meanwhile Colombia forward James Rodriguez finished as the tournament's Golden Boot, or top scorer, with six goals.

Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who kept a clean sheet as his side beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time at the Maracana to claim their fourth World Cup, was awarded the Golden Gloves gong as the tournament's top custodian.