World Cup 2014: Fifa announce Golden Ball shortlist, but will Lionel Messi beat the likes of Thomas Muller, James Rodriguez and Arjen Robben to the best player award?
Germany lead the way with four nominations while fellow finalists Argentina have three players included
Sunday 13 July 2014
With Germany set to face Argentina in the World Cup final, it is no surprise that the two sides dominate he Golden Ball shortlist, made up of 10 of the biggest names in world football.
Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos and Thomas Muller all feature on the list as the German's look to win their fourth World Cup with an unbeaten record. In Argentina, they face one of the best individual players in history in the form of Lionel Messi, and the Barcelona great is also included among the 10-man shortlist.
Messi is joined by his Argentina team-mates Angel Di Maria and Javier Masherano, whose contrasting effects on Alejandro Sabella's side show how they have developed into a rather complete team - safe and reliable at the back, with a slick attacking threat when needed.
The rest of the nominees are made up of Arjen Robben of the Netherlands, James Rodriguez of Colombia and the home favourite Neymar of Brazil.
The winner may be taken from the World Cup winners, but the likelihood is that Messi will take the spoils.
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