Award "not important" to Messi

July 14, 2014
Football - World Cup - Bet Now at Bet365

A crestfallen Lionel Messi said winning the Golden Ball was "not important" and described Argentina blowing a chance to win the World Cup as "not acceptable".

The Barcelona hero scored four goals in the group stages to scoop the prestigious individual honour, but, despite the odd flash of brilliance, was largely off-key as Germany won a fourth World Cup thanks to an extra-time winner from Bayern Munich playmaker Mario Gotze.

Players past and present and pundits alike had said Messi had to win in Brazil to be considered one of the game's greats and the 27-year-old said his 'best player at the tournament' award was of little relevance.

"This was a chance to give the fans some joy after all the sadness," Messi said.

"Golden Ball is not important. All I wanted was to lift the cup."

Gonzalo Higuain was guilty of a golden miss when one-on-one in the first half at Estadio Maracana before Messi and Rodrigo Palacio also wasted good opportunities, although Germany defender Benedikt Howedes also hit the post with a header seconds before the break.

Three-time Champions League winner Messi agreed Argentina paid the price for not being clinical enough against Joachim Low's men and only had themselves to blame.

"We had our chances but we could not score. In games like these that is not acceptable," Messi told reporters.

"We played a good game against a very good team. We deserved more, but we could not take the cup back home."


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