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FIFA and the bizarre Golden Ball award

Posted: 15 July 2014 Time: 10:47

Congratulations are in order to Lionel Messi for being ‘given’ the Golden Ball award, I suppose. However, whatever criteria was employed in awarding the Argentine captain remains my concern.

Actually, the value of the award will drastically depreciate in the eyes of football fans should FIFA continue to give those who never earned it.

ALSO READ: Maradona questions Messi's award

The so-called individual brilliance did not even inspire the team to winning the real thing, the World Cup trophy. It would have been understandable if they won it but no, FIFA decided to leave us with something to debate about.

More than half of the German squad were better than Messi, hence an important victory, not to mention those from other teams who performed very well in the tournament; the likes of Robben, James Rodriguez, etc.

You could say Messi received an early ‘lifetime achievement award’, definitely not a Golden Ball award – he did not deserve it at all. The poetic commentator, Peter Drury, even commented about the prize: “Messi getting the Golden Ball
perhaps due to the performances he’s produced in his career rather than his performances during the last month.”

Let’s take two steps backwards, whether to support Messi or ambush FIFA. At the 2010 World Cup, this award was given to Diego Forlan, who scored five goals and had one assist.

In 2006, it was Zidane’s … the Frenchman only scoring three goals and had one assist as well. Forlan and Zidane’s teams lost in the semifinals and final, respectively.

Back to 2014, Messi scored four goals and assisted once – his team, which he captains, were runners up, just like France in 2006.

Messi never made his presence felt in the latter part of this World Cup the way Zidane did in Germany 2006; even leadership wise I believe the armband he wears is just for decoration. He is not leadership material at all.

This prize can be awarded to a defender, but FIFA feels that it has to be given to someone who score goals. They may as well mention that is award is only for goalscorers.

To avoid criticism, awards like these should be automatically given to individuals who have something to show for it. In the cases of 2006, 2010 and 2014, it should have been given to a player from Italy, Spain and Germany, respectively. No wonder Sepp Blatter emerged to a very loud chorus of boos after the Final at the Maracana.

Football fans must be taken seriously … there is no football without fans.

By Sibusiso Zwana

Tags:  Readers Views

Livefyre comments on this story...

** Mrango **
posted: 2014-07-15 09:13:27

Messi did not award himself...blame it on FIFA then...

Roba Robs
posted: 2014-07-15 09:18:44

We just need to leave Messi alone. We fail to see that he lifted that team from the opening match.. When Di Maria got injured - people said thats the end of Argentina, but NO Messi's presence still pushed that team to believe they can go all the way to win..His presence in the field even makes teh toughest of defences (German) to always stay alert. The man is not your vocal type of player (no controvecies) and he seldomly scores those "out of this world"type of goals so most people expected to see him scoring those brilliant goals, but sometimes its not about individual brilliance....Hands off "la pulga atomica" (The best player to have ever walk the earth)

Blaq Hyena
posted: 2014-07-15 09:26:15

Messi didn't ask for it so stop treating him like he's a cheater nxa

posted: 2014-07-15 09:37:36

So you are blaming Messi for the award?

posted: 2014-07-15 09:42:10

FIFA is unfortunately a very populist organization.If they could have handed the WC trophy to Brazil,they would have.Unfortunately for Messi,he is a pawn in a game played by very powerful men in suits.I think he was a little embarrassed to be awarded the award but he could not turn it down.

T-Man wa leKhosi
posted: 2014-07-15 10:22:46

Ukhuluma ukunya Sbusiso.

posted: 2014-07-15 10:41:37

True Mr editor I think he was given the award for his overall football career not for the performance at this world cup because there are many players who played better than him, I respect him that he is a good player but in this world cup he was not the same messi that we know 

posted: 2014-07-15 10:48:05

@mtshango, tshifking

no one is blaming messi u IDIOT'S why don't u read and understand what sbu is saying here, messi didn't deserve to win and FIFA is to blame for wonder they are ranked no2 as a corrupt organization in the world

posted: 2014-07-15 10:48:43

True that because it seems like golden boot/top goal scorer award. So basically no defender will win this award irrespective of how good they are???

posted: 2014-07-15 11:57:49

I agree with u fully Mr Sbu. I respect Messi 2, but that award should've gone to M. Hummels or T. Muller from German Team or J. Rodriques from Colombia.

posted: 2014-07-15 13:14:23

Josep Sepp Blatter must step down,you are no longer capable sir and thanx for the years you served

posted: 2014-07-15 13:37:12

The award is given to someone who took his country to the respective position that's what messi did if Messi was nt in that Argentina squad they were nt gonna make it to the knock out stages 

posted: 2014-07-15 20:11:37

Argentina is not the only team that made it to the knockout stages, and to me personally, Messi was not even the best performer in that Argentinian side alone. I dont have anything against Messi, I have a lot of respect for him, and I believe that he is the best footballer of the current generation, but it is not right to give awards that he does not even come close to deserve. I mean its very embarrasing and its discouraging  other players who worked their hearts out like Javier Mascherano and Marcos Rojo, to see Argentina reaching the final.

posted: 2014-07-16 07:28:37

u people never stop toking kak, before and during every Argentina game it was always the same people like the writer of this lousy article saying Argentina is a one man team, 'messi and the rest' nywe nywe. Not recognising the contribution of players like rojo, masherano, Di Maria,etc

Now that fifa has recognised that Leo carried the team to the final u guys complain that he is given the golden ball, mxm. Although i dnt agree with the simplistic notion that Argentina was a one man team, i acknowledge the fact that Leo was head and shoulders above every single player in this tournament in terms of performance. In the games where he was nullified (quite final to final) it took a concerted ganging up on him by Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. And still he never gave up! Leo deserves his award. 


posted: 2014-07-23 16:51:35

Germany worked as a team, and besides James Rodriguez, no one looked like winning a match for his team except for Messi and led his team to the final, very few so called best players get to play ina FIFA WC final game

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