Golden Ball controversy: Even FIFA president Blatter is 'surprised' Messi won

Lionel Messi with Golden Ball award
Rio de Janeiro, July 15: The Golden Ball controversy has escalated with FIFA president Sepp Blatter himself expressing "surprise" over Lionel Messi getting the award.

World Cup Special

Many were surprised and shocked at Messi being chosen for the Golden Ball at the end of FIFA World Cup 2014 final on Sunday (July 13).

After Argentina had lost 0-1 to Germany in the title clash at Maracana stadium, Messi was announced as the winner of Golden Ball. The award is given to the best player in the tournament, which according to many, was not the Argentine captain.

Even Diego Maradona had questioned FIFA's decision to hand the Golden Ball to Messi. He slammed it as a "marketing plan".

"Shall I be diplomatic or tell you the truth?,'' Blatter was quoted as saying in the media when asked about the Golden Ball.

"Listen, I was myself a little bit surprised when I saw Messi coming up for the Golden Ball,'' Blatter said.

"But look at the goals scored by Messi in the different (group-stage) matches. They were decisive,'' he added.

Earlier, the Golden Ball honour was picked by media vote. But in Brazil, FIFA Techincal Study Group selected the award after shortlisting 10 players including Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben and Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez.

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