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Messi, Neuer, Rodriguez headline 2014 World Cup awards

MessiNeuerAwardsFIFAWorldCupFinal2014 (Getty)


Lionel Messi may not have won the ultimate prize on Sunday afternoon but he’s not going home without some silverware of his own.

Following Germany’s 1-0 victory in the World Cup final, the Argentine star was awarded the 2014 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball on the back of a four-goal, two-assist performance in the tournament. Messi finished ahead of the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben and Germany’s Thomas Müller, who took home the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball, respectively.

Germany’s Manuel Neuer, who didn’t record a save in the final, was awarded the Golden Glove, as he shot-stopped his way to World Cup glory.

With six goals and two assists, Colombia’s superstar midfielder James Rodriguez was awarded the tournament’s Golden Boot, finishing ahead of Müller (five goals, three assists), and Neymar (four goals, one assist).

Following in the footsteps of Müller, Lukas Podolski, and Landon Donovan, France’s powerful midfielder Paul Pogba was named the best young player of the World Cup. Pogba scored one goal, the winner against Nigeria and setting up a goal for teammate Karim Benzema in the 5-1 victory over Switzerland.

Finally, Colombia were awarded the FIFA Fair Play award, collecting just five yellow cards in their five matches played, and overall wowing crowds during their three weeks at the tournament.


What do you think of these winners? Do you agree with the decisions?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Arjen Robben was the most impressive for me. He could not be stopped legally.

    BTW – how far could Mexico have gone without the late collapse against Holland? They owned the third place team in their meeting

    • Mexico was as good as anyone else except Germany. So they could have conceivably made the final.

      I @&$ing knew they would have a great tournament as soon as we bailed them out and allowed them to qualify. All credit to them, though. They looked good and really should have seen the Dutch off.

  2. I too agree Messi didn’t deserve. He had no goals in the knockout stages and missed a couple sitters – very unMessi-like when it counted. I heard on NPR this morning that all three awards, Goalie, POTH and Young Player are each sponsored by Adidas. The awards are all sponsored by Adidas. Let the conspiracy theories begin.

  3. Messi does not impact the flow of the game in the same way he did a few years ago. He still has moments of brilliance, but does not have the impact on the game that he did at the height of his brilliance a few years ago. If you had someone just watch the semifinal, the final, and the last game of la liga against Atleti and then tried to tell them that Messi is the best player in the world, they wouldn’t believe you. That is because he is not the best player in the world over the last few years. He had a terrible tournament (by his own high standards) and shouldn’t have even been in the conversation for golden ball.

    I hope he regains his top form but he is way off it for now.

    I would have given the award to James. If not to him, then I’d have been ok with Robbem or Mueller.

  4. “finished ahead of the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben and Germany’s Thomas Müller, who took home the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball, respectively.”

    i’m pretty sure it was Müller who got the silver.

    awesome for Rodriguez and i think Müller deserved the golden ball.

  5. Disagree about Neuer–he had bunk all to do all tournament. One real save against France. Just not all that impressive. Basically you shouldn’t give the award for best keeper to a player when the biggest contributor to his success was the defense and midfield in front of him.

    • According to ESPNFC – “Manchester United have announced the agreement of a 10-year, 750 million pound ($1.28 billion) contract with Adidas — the biggest deal in sports licensing history.”

      BTW – What does the FC stand for in ESPNFC? Is ESPN starting their own football club? I’m sure they’ll just claim it doesn’t stand for anything, like they do with the name of their entertainment and sports programming network.

  6. These three players played outstanding in whole tournament, but I think this is little bit unfair with Thomas Muller. He played brilliantly and scored five goals, three assists and played a major role in Germany victory, but unfortunately not judged as a man of the tournament which was unfair with this striker.

  7. I am hoping the hyperbole about Messi finally dies down. I understand this generation is looking for its Péle or Maradona, but I’m not sure he is even Platini.

    Sure, he’s talented. But the worship is ridiculous.

  8. Rodriguez deserved the Golden Ball.

    I’m a Messi fan but he didn’t step up in the semi or the FINAL.

    Robben and Muller deserved it more than he,

    • There is one thing that truly irritated me about Messi’s final freekick. It wasn’t that he ballooned it over and wide… it would’ve taken something other-worldly to score from that distance and angle, particlularly as Messi does not really use the technique that Ronaldo/Bale/Luiz do to create the awkward, knuckleball effect that can disarm even the best of keepers.

      What irritated me was the complete lack of disguise in the buildup Schweinsteiger was on the ground for about 3 minutes for treatment, and absolutely NOBODY from the Argentina side approached or even pretended to speak with Messi. Absoultely criminal failure of strategy. Effectively, they told Manuel Neuer – a superb freak of a GK —
      “The only thing this is possibly going to happen here is Messi going for goal. You can go ahead and ignore all of us, if you haven’t already. Don’t bother with a wall. Focus only on Leo”.

      This is a ridiculous thing to do. Was Messi going to go for goal? Yes of course you’d have to believe that was the overwhelming likelihood. But what if Argentina had a nice little set play in the back pocket — kind of like the one bit we tried against Belgium (not the same, just another set bit they’d saved for a rainy day). You have to at least sell Neuer on this possibility. They should have 3-4 guys standing over the ball, and talking the entire time. Make him organize his defense. Give Messi the possibility of at least wrong-footing him.

      You’ll never beat a keeper of Neuer’s quality from that distance if he knows you’re just going to go for goal — he didn’t even bother with a wall… knew he would be fine or better with a clean sighting. It’s a nitpick of course, and tough to convince an exhausted group to keep this level of focus… Then again– if we could do it…

      • I am in 100% agreement with you. I think Argentina definitely should have had a trick or two prepared for free kicks, considering they were outsized, and facing the best GK in the world.

      • I agree with Messi’s effort being dismal. But in reality, he should’ve bent it in the box and see what happened. On the other hand, stop crying, the best team won and nobody should win the WC with two PK shootout wins in the last two games. And, so much for this South America is better bull.

      • I don’t think his point was about the quality of the shot, and he wasn’t complaining that Argentina lost.

        I was disappointed they didn’t try something more likely to work, because it would have been more exciting. It was obvious that Messi was lining up to play the hero there, and it was a bad idea.

      • The final free kick was not the reason why they lost. Argentina wasted two fantastic 1v1 chances, not even forcing the keeper to make a save. Moreover, if Higuain was more disciplined holding the line on his offside goal, he would still have had time to get to the beautiful cross and put it in. Apart from this and a couple of nice runs by Messi, they did not create many chances. Germany was a better team for most of the game and deserved their win.

      • Zero disagreement with any of your points. They are all dead right. Just picking on a solitary thing that irritated me about that particular sequence.

      • Got it. I agree that it was a low percentage play, given the distance, lack of disguise and the keeper’s quality.

  9. why did Pogba receive Young Player over Memphis (of the Netherlands)

    didn’t Donovan also receive this award?

  10. “Football is a simple game. Twenty-two men chase a ball for 90 minutes and at the end, the Germans always win.” – Gary Lineke

    • Yeah man, that Messi and Colombia awards are ridiculous. As for the young player, it should’ve been Yedlin or Green.


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