July 13, 2014; Rio de Janeiro, BRAZIL; Argentina forward Lionel Messi (10) reacts after the championship match of the 2014 World Cup after the game at Maracana Stadium. Germany won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Tim Groothuis/Witters Sport via USA TODAY Sports

Diego Maradona doesn't think Lionel Messi deserved the Golden Ball

Controversy in the wake of Lionel Messi being awarded the World Cup Golden Ball for best player of the tournament. Argentina legend Diego Maradona says Messi didn’t deserve the award and believes the whole thing was just part of a larger scheme.

Maradona said via The Guardian:

Messi? I would give him heaven if possible. But it’s not right when someone wins something that he shouldn’t have won just because of some marketing plan.

Maradona is hardly the only one ripping the Messi Golden Ball. Observers point out that, though Messi had strong overall numbers, he didn’t play as well in the pressure matches later in the tournament. And he was invisible in Argentina’s finals loss to Germany.

Messi himself took little solace in winning the individual honor after losing the big prize. He said while receiving his Golden Ball on the pitch:

Right now I don’t care about the prize. I don’t care about anything. I wanted to take Argentina to the World Cup for all the people.

There’s a lot of bad feeling all around in the wake of Argentina’s defeat. And in Maradona’s eyes, there is a conspiracy afoot. Whether you chalk up Messi’s Golden Ball to scheming by rich guys in suits or pure bad judgment by whoever makes those decisions, one thing is clear: Messi was a big flop when it mattered most.

Unlike Maradona, Messi failed to bring home the cup. That’s gonna haunt him.

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Tags: Argentina Soccer Diego Maradona Lionel Messi World Cup

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