Lionel Messi didn't deserve Golden Ball: Sepp Blatter's astonishing admission in 2014
- Lionel Messi controversially won the Golden Ball award in the 2014 World Cup in spite of Argentina's failure.
- In an interview following the showpiece event, Sepp Blatter said that Lionel Messi did not deserve the award.
In shocking statements following the World Cup, the former FIFA president discredited Lionel Messi and said that several other players had a better claim to the prestigious Golden Ball award.
The only trophy missing from Lionel's Messi exceptional silverware cabinet is the World Cup. While he may have another World Cup still left in him, Lionel Messi has regularly expressed disappointment in his inability to lead Argentina to a World Cup triumph.
Sepp Blatter handed Lionel Messi his runners-up medal at the showpiece event in 2014 and then went on to make some sensational statements.
"Shall I be diplomatic or shall I tell you the truth? Listen, I was myself a little bit surprised when I saw Lionel Messi coming up for best player of the tournament."
"I think the decision was incorrect. I was surprised when I received the committee’s decision. They told me they had only looked at 10 of the players who took part in the final."
There were more deserving candidates than Lionel Messi, says Sepp Blatter
The days following the World Cup final saw intense and regular discussions about the committee's decision to award Lionel Messi the Golden Ball. The little magician's performances were compared to several other world-class players like Manuel Neuer, James Rodriguez, and Arjen Robben, who had also excelled at the World Cup.
Blatter further elaborated his statements and said that Lionel Messi's magical performances in the early stages of the tournament worked in his favour.
"If you compare the beginning of the tournament and why finally the Argentina team got into the final, they were decisive and I think that influenced the decision."
Lionel Messi was devastated after the World Cup final loss to Germany in 2014. Argentina somehow conspired to let their best chance at a World Cup trophy in recent times slip through their hands, despite having a strong side.
Lionel Messi was in blistering form in the group stages. The false nine scored the winner for Argentina in the team's opening game against Bosnia and Herzegovina and announced his arrival with aplomb.
Iran managed to keep the diminutive forward quiet for the majority of the following game, but Lionel Messi was able to break the shackles and score a stunning curler in stoppage time to win Argentina yet another game.
Lionel Messi also played a starring role against Nigeria in the final group game and scored a brace. However, the Barcelona talisman was unable to get on the scoresheet for the rest of the tournament and finished with a tally of 4 goals.
Lionel Messi did put in some excellent shifts against the Netherlands and Belgium in the knock-out stages and also bagged an assist against Switzerland. His efforts, however, clearly fell short in the eyes of Blatter and several other pundits and fans.
Blatter himself did not enjoy a particularly lucrative career post the 2014 World Cup. The former president was suspended from his post and banned from participating in any football-related activities for a period of six years.
As it turns out, Lionel Messi will almost definitely have a longer career than Sepp Blatter, who now has no solid ground to stand on.