World Cup

Diego Maradona: Lionel Messi didn't deserve Golden Ball

Not even Diego Maradona, an ardent Argentina supporter and the country's greatest player in history, supports giving the Golden Ball award to Messi.

Argentina legend criticizes current star after World Cup final

Lionel Messi, right, appears dejected as he shakes the hand of Germany's Manuel Neuer during the FIFA World Cup awards ceremony in Brazil. (Reuters)

Lionel Messi still can't catch a break.

After failing to score a goal and losing Sunday's World Cup final, the Argentina striker was awarded the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player.

But even Diego Maradona, an ardent Argentina supporter and the country's greatest player in history, couldn't support giving the award to Messi.

“Messi? I would give him heaven if possible,” the 1986 World Cup winner told The Guardian. “But it’s not right when someone wins something that he shouldn’t have won just because of some marketing plan.”

That marketing plan seems to be a jab at Adidas, the sponsor of the Golden Ball award. Messi is an Adidas athlete. 

To be fair, Adidas sponsors many of soccer's top stars including Germany's Thomas Müller and the Netherlands' Arjen Robben.

But Messi is still the biggest name on that list.

Mardona's comments were well received among Messi's critics.

What do you think? Was Messi the beneficiary of some favourable judging? Tell us in the comments section below.


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