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Blatter 'Surprised' by Messi's Golden Ball

FIFA President Sepp Blatter is the latest big name in soccer to question the awarding of the Golden Ball, the World Cup’s top individual prize for the tournament’s best player, to Argentina striker Lionel Messi following Germany’s 1-0 win over the Albiceleste in Sunday’s final. When asked about the award, Blatter said he was “a little bit surprised” that Messi had received it.

On Monday, Argentina legend Diego Maradona suggested that Messi had only won the award to appease the player’s many sponsors. The Golden Ball and other individual prizes, such as the Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper, is decided by FIFA's Technical Study Group, a panel including former Liverpool coach Gerard Houllier. Germany forward Thomas Muller won the Silver Ball, given to the tournament’s second-best player, while the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben received the Bronze Ball, given to the third-best player.

In other World Cup awards, Colombia’s James Rodriguez took home the Golden Boot, which is given to the tournament’s top scorer, with 6 goals, while Germany’s Manuel Neuer won the Golden Glove as the tournament’s best goalkeeper. France midfielder Paul Pogba rounded out the individual awards as the tournament’s best young player. 

Read the whole story at BBC Sport »

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