Messi award surprises Sepp

Cape Town - FIFA president Sepp Blatter has admitted that he was not expecting Lionel Messi to win the Golden Ball award at the Soccer World Cup.

The Argentina captain was presented with the prize, which is handed out to the best player at the tournament, after his side’s 1-0 defeat to Germany in Sunday’s final.

The decision has raised eyebrows, with many suggesting that Messi was the beneficiary of some wayward voting.

"I was a little bit surprised when I saw Messi coming up to collect the best player of the competition,” said Blatter.

Messi began the tournament strongly and almost single-handedly helped Argentina through the group stages as he notched up four goals in three matches.

However, he was unable to replicate that form in the knockout stages.

Blatter believes that it could have been Messi’s early excellence that helped him to the award.

"If you compare the beginning of the tournament and why the Argentina team got into the final, they were decisive," he said.

For Messi’s part, he doesn’t seem too fazed one way or the other – it wasn’t the trophy he was after.

"Right now I don't care about the prize. I wanted to take Argentina to the World Cup for all the people,” he told AS.
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