World Cup 2014: Diego Maradona says Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball because of 'marketing'

Messi handed the Golden Ball despite Argentina losing to Germany in the final

Diego Maradona has hit out at Fifa naming Lionel Messi as the World Cup's best player as a 'marketing plan'.

Read more: Super Mario scores extra-time winner to crush Messi's dream

Messi was handed the Golden Ball after Argentina were beaten 1-0 in the final by Germany.

Despite scoring four goals in seven games in Brazil, Messi struggled at times in the tournament and struggled to have an impact in the semi-final and against Joachim Low's eventual winners.

Maradona hit out on his TV show believing the current Argentina No 10 should not have won the award.

"Messi? I would give him heaven if possible," said the 53-year-old on Telesur.

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

Maradona's comments were made as the Golden Ball is sponsored by German sportswear giant adidas, as is Messi.

Manuel Neuer, another adidas player, was handed the Golden Gloves as the best goalkeeper of the World Cup but Paul Pogba, who is sponsored by Nike, was named the best youngster.

Other players such as Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez and Thomas Muller may feel they had been more deserving of the award.

The World Cup winner also criticised Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella's decision to replace Ezequiel Lavezzi with Sergio Aguero at half-time. Diego Maradona says Argentina are too reliant on the star Diego Maradona says Messi won it as a marketing plan by adidas

"I don't understand the substitution of Lavezzi. He was phenomenal down the wing. Kun Aguero didn't have the same impact. It was not his tournament.

"I feel sorry for my country. Mario Gotze'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."

News
election 2015The 10 best quotes of the campaign
News
A caravan being used as a polling station in Ford near Salisbury, during the 2010 election
election 2015The Independent's guide to get you through polling day
News
people
Voices
David Blunkett joins the Labour candidate for Redcar Anna Turley on a campaigning visit last month
voicesWhat I learnt from my years in government, by the former Home Secretary David Blunkett
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

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'