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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...