"Unfair decision" Says Maradona


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Fifa president Sepp Blatter was "surprised" Argentina's Lionel Messi won the World Cup Golden Ball award.

Barcelona forward Messi, 27, was named as the tournament's best player after his side lost 1-0 to Germany in Sunday's final in Rio de Janeiro.

Blatter said: "I was a little bit surprised when I saw Messi coming up to collect the best player of the competition."

Argentina legend Diego Maradona called the decision "unfair".

The 53-year-old, who was named the best player when Argentina won the World Cup in 1986, said "marketing people" had chosen the wrong man.

Speaking on his television programme, De Zurda, Maradona said Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez should have received the award.

The Golden Ball and other individual prizes, such as the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper, are decided by world governing body Fifa's Technical Study Group, a panel including former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.

Blatter believes Messi was given the award on the strength of his four goals during the group stage.

"If you compare the beginning of the tournament and why the Argentina team got into the final, they were decisive," he said.

The 53-year-old, who was named the best player when Argentina won the World Cup in 1986, said "marketing people" had chosen the wrong man.

Speaking on his television programme, De Zurda, Maradona said Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez should have received the award.

The Golden Ball and other individual prizes, such as the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper, are decided by world governing body Fifa's Technical Study Group, a panel including former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.

Blatter believes Messi was given the award on the strength of his four goals during the group stage.

"If you compare the beginning of the tournament and why the Argentina team got into the final, they were decisive," he said.

r-old, who was named the best player when Argentina won the World Cup in 1986, said "marketing people" had chosen the wrong man.

Speaking on his television programme, De Zurda, Maradona said Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez should have received the award.

The Golden Ball and other individual prizes, such as the Golden Glove award for the best goalkeeper, are decided by world governing body Fifa's Technical Study Group, a panel including former Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier.

Blatter believes Messi was given the award on the strength of his four goals during the group stage.

"If you compare the beginning of the tournament and why the Argentina team got into the final, they were decisive," he said.

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