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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Jul 15, 2014

Messi: Golden Ball no consolation

FIFA president Sepp Blatter talks about the controversial Golden Ball prize given to Argentina's Lionel Messi, for being the best player during the tournament.

Lionel Messi says he does not care about winning the Golden Ball after failing to bring the World Cup back home with him to Argentina.

- Brewin: Hollow honours for Lionel Messi

Messi, 27, was named player of the tournament by FIFA's Technical Study Group, despite failing to score during the knockout stages of the competition, while providing just one assist.

The Barcelona forward was forced to pick up the award just moments after Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany in Sunday's final and he looked visibly distraught by the defeat.

"I'm very hurt at not being able to bring the cup to Argentina," Messi is quoted as saying by the Telegraph.

"I am very angry at the way we lost, so close to the penalties, especially as we had the best chances. I do not care about the Golden Ball. I am just upset by the wasted chances.

"We had the best chances, with [Gonzalo] Higuain, mine and [Rodrigo] Palacio's. We knew we could not dominate the game but we knew what we wanted to do.

"Right now I do not care, not about my prize, nothing. I just wanted to lift the cup and bring it to Argentina. The pain is very great.

"I have been through many sad days with this team. This was our chance to change all that. We deserved more. They had more of the ball but the best chances were ours."

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has hit out at FIFA's decision to award the Golden Ball to Messi, calling it a "marketing plan."

FIFA president Sepp Blatter also expressed his surprise at Messi winning the accolade, while a spokesman of the governing body has said the award may go back to being voted in conjunction with the media.

"There was a long discussion,'' a FIFA spokesman said. "The decision was by the technical study group.

"Maybe it will change again. Maybe it will not have so much weight given to the technical group.

"We're open to suggestions. You can make your own opinion on Messi.''

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