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Maradona slams FIFA for selecting Messi for Golden Ball award

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Lionel Messi with his Golden Ball award
Rio de Janeiro, July 14: Football legend Diego Maradona has slammed FIFA for handing the "Golden Ball" award to his countryman Lionel Messi at the World Cup 2014, which concluded yesterday. Maradona termed the decision as a "marketing plan".

World Cup Special; Photos of all award winners

At the Maracana on Sunday, Germany defeated Argentina 1-0 in the final to win the World Cup trophy for the fourth time. Though Argentine captain Messi was disappointed at losing the match, he had a bit of consolation when he won the "Golden Ball" honour, beating 9 other players.

Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup triumph in 1986 and also won the Golden Ball, was not happy with Messi getting the award.

"Messi? I would give him heaven if possible," the Argentine said during his show on "Telesur", according to Goal.com.

"But it's not right when someone wins something that he shouldn't have won just because of some marketing plan," he added.

However, Argentina's coach Alejandro Sabella, after the final, said Messi deserved the award.

Maradona said he had "huge sadness" to see Argentina lose the final.

"I feel sorry for my country. Mario Goetze's goal really hurt. There's a huge sadness in my heart that we lost the final. All things put together, I think Argentina deserved at least penalties. That Germany won was the result of a misunderstanding in the Argentine defence," he said.

OneIndia News

Story first published: Monday, July 14, 2014, 15:43 [IST]
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