Lionel Messi was awarded the Golden Ball for his eye-catching performances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. However, former FIFA President Sepp Blatter opined that the Argentine wasn't worthy of going home with the accolade and termed the decision as incorrect.
It goes without saying that Messi was one of the top performers at the 2014 FIFA World. The Argentine recorded four goals and one assist in seven games as he led his nation to the final of the tournament. He was, however, unlucky, as his side lost to Germany 1-0 courtesy of an extra time strike from Mario Gotze.
Despite the setback, the attacker was voted the tournament's best player and awarded the Golden Ball ahead of Thomas Mueller and Arjen Robben, who came second and third respectively.
That didn't sit well with Sepp Blatter, who didn't shy away from expressing his opinion. The former FIFA President argued that the organisation didn't make the right call with the decision, adding that he was surprised when he saw Messi step up to pick up the prize:
"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," he said during an interview with Spanish outlet AS. 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."
It's worth noting that Messi added another FIFA Golden Ball to his cabinet last year. The Argentine won the accolade after bagging an impressive seven goals and three assists in seven games to lead his nation to the ultimate prize in Qatar.
That made him the only player to win the Golden Ball twice in the history of the FIFA World Cup.
Lionel Messi is missing national team colleagues after 2022 FIFA World Cup triumph
Just two weeks after returning to PSG following his World Cup triumph, Lionel Messi has said that he's already missing his Argentine teammates.
The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner made that known in a post written on Instagram:
"I miss my colleagues, the day-to-day with them, the mates, the talks, training sessions, the bullshit we did," part of the post read. “How nice it was to see my family enjoy an unforgettable experience every day for everyone and how beautiful it was to go to the games and see the madness of the people on the field and in Argentina."
Messi bagged seven goals and three assists in seven games in Qatar.