FIFA 2014

Messi awarded with ‘Golden Ball’, Neuer with ‘Golden Gloves’

RIO DE JANEIRO: Despite of loss in World Cup final, captain of Argentina Lionel Messi awarded with FIFA’s ‘Golden Ball’ – the best player of the World Cup – for leading his team to the final of mega event and Colombia’s James Rodriguez won ‘Golden Boot’ award for finishing tournament’s top scorer with six goals.

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

Four-times world player of the year Messi had a quiet game by his standards on Sunday but was the driving force behind Argentina’s push to their first World Cup final since 1990.

He scored four of their six goals in the group stage, 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.

Messi also won four successive man-of-the-match awards against Bosnia, Iran, Argentina and Switzerland.

Germany forward Thomas Mueller was runner-up to Messi and Netherlands winger Arjen Robben was third.

France midfielder Paul Pogba was named young player of the tournament, while Colombia took the Fair Play award after receiving just five yellow cards in five matches in Brazil.

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