In the end, not even the great Lionel Messi could stop Germany’s machine from winning the 2014 World Cup and even though the Argentinian striker won the Golden Ball — awarded to the best player of the tournament — it was little consolation.
Ahead of the final match — where one of the best to ever play the game had a chance of becoming an icon — Messi said he would gladly give up all his titles for a World Cup trophy. That is how much this tournament means to most players, who, from the time they are very young, dream of winning it all.
Mesi told the German tabloid Bild before the final:
“I would give all my personal records to be world champion. I’d prefer to win the World Cup than the Ballon d’Or. As a player, winning the World Cup is the biggest thing there is. It’s something you dream of as a youngster and that dream never fades away.”
Unfortunately for Leo Messi, it was not to be, and as he wasted one final chance to score a goal with a free kick, he also denied Argentina the chance of becoming World Cup champions for the third time. Instead, Germany is celebrating tonight as they find themselves closer to Brazil’s record five titles.
Most would agree that Lionel Messi didn’t have a great World Cup, even though he was able to create plays and score for his team four times during the tournament. However, when it counted most, he failed.
Many would also agree that it was not all Messi’s fault that he was not able to shine as he does at his club, Barcelona. As a top player, rivals put extra effort in marking the striker and preventing him from creating, and more importantly, scoring. Germany did that to perfection in the final.
We also have to consider that Messi didn’t have one of his favorite go-to guys, Di Maria, who suffered an injury in the semi and was ruled unfit to play the final. A truly devastating loss for La Albiceleste.
Messi was clearly unhappy as he received the top player award for the 2014 World Cup, and he accepted the trophy less than enthusiastically. Many saw this as a slight, but we can understand the disappointment, can we not?
This ended up being the World Cup of the underdogs, and neither Lionel Messi nor his arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo could, in the end, take the much coveted trophy. For Messi, it will take four more years of hard work for another chance to prove he is the best of the best and finally win the World Cup.
[Images via FIFA.com and Twitter]