Come from: 2014/07/15

Captain Lionel Messi took home the 2014 FIFA World Cup Golden Ball despite Argentina's 1-0 final loss to Germany.

The Barcelona forward netted four times as Argentina topped Group F in Brazil and held off Colombia's James Rodriguez - the competition's top scorer - among others to claim the player of the tournament award, despite his form tailing off during the closing rounds.

Messi's compatriots Javier Mascherano and Angel di Maria were nominated for the accolade, along with Netherlands winger Arjen Robben, Rodriguez and four members of Germany's triumphant squad: Philipp Lahm, Mats Hummels, Thomas Muller and Toni Kroos.

 "This was a chance to give the fans some joy after all the sadness," Messi said.

"Golden Ball is not important. All I wanted was to lift the cup."

Messi lamented his team's wastefulness after Alejandro Sabella's men missed several chances.

Gonzalo Higuain missed a one-on-one in the first half before Messi and Rodrigo Palacio squandered opportunities after the break.

"We had our chances but we could not score. In games like these that is not acceptable," Messi told reporters.

"We played a good game against a very good team. We deserved more, but we could not take the cup back home."

Argentina coach Sabella said: "Messi played a great World Cup. He was absolutely fundamental to us getting where he did. He deserves any award."

Germany's Manuel Neuer added the Golden Glove gong to his winner's medal as the Bayern Munich number one was named the best goalkeeper in the competition.

France's Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba was crowned best young player.

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