Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: 'Extraordinary Lionel Messi' deserved to win the Golden Ball, claims Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella - International - Football - The Independent

Germany vs Argentina World Cup final 2014: 'Extraordinary Lionel Messi' deserved to win the Golden Ball, claims Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella

Messi picked up the player of the tournament award despite missing out on the Worldd Cup trophy and not scoring since the group stage, but Sabella has backed the forward for his achievement

Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said Lionel Messi's Golden Ball award as the player of the World Cup was richly deserved despite the South Americans' defeat by Germany in the final.

Messi missed a glorious chance for Argentina in the showpiece at the Maracana but Sabella said the Barcelona forward is already among the true greats of the game.

"He deserves it because he played an extraordinary World Cup," said Sabella. "He was a fundamental factor in the team making it to the final, along with everything done by his other team-mates.

"The World Cup is a highly demanding tournament and as for his reputation, he is in that pantheon among the greats. But he was there before - he has been there for quite some time."

Sabella admitted that his side had paid the price for missing chances - as well as Messi, Gonzalo Higuain passed up a glorious opportunity, while Germany triumphed in extra-time via Mario Gotze's volley.

 

Sabella added: "The players are bitter and sad because we had a huge dream having made it all the way to the final. We needed to be more clinical and I am sad just like the players.

"Beyond the pain of the defeat in the final they can look themselves in the eyes and say they gave everything for Argentina.

"We have an extraordinary group of players, these were warriors. I congratulated the players because they left every drop of sweat out on the field. They gave their all.

Read more: Messi forced to walk past trophy twice
Loew challenged Gotze to prove he was better than Messi
Messi ignored Sabella's extra-time team talk

"I am very proud, the boys played an extraordinary World Cup and improved as they advantages through the stages and they gave everything for the Argentina jersey.

"I think that this was a very tough match, Germany started better and handled the ball well and is a great team.

"The match had its up and downs but we had the clearer chances. I congratulate my players for their extraordinary work and congratulations to Germany on the title."

Lionel Messi walks past the World Cup trophy to collect the Golden Ball award Lionel Messi walks past the World Cup trophy to collect the Golden Ball award Sabella also refused to be drawn on his future.

He said: "I cannot speak about the future, the future for me now is to be with the players and my people - the coaches and my family - and to rest a bit. I don't know what to say about the future."

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week