Lionel Messi World Cup Photo Voted Sports Picture Of The Year

Gregory Wakeman

An image of a dejected Lionel Messi just after the World Cup final this summer has been picked for a coveted sport's picture of the year award.

Messi played for Argentina during the tournament, which was held in Brazil. However, he was unable to inspire his side to victory against Germany in the final, and instead watched as Mario Gotze's extra time goal secured the cup for the European nation.

You can check out the image of Messi walking past and also eyeing up the trophy below.

— ESPN / SportsCenter (@ESPNagora) February 12, 2015

The award-winning snap was captured by Bao Tailiang, who took it for the Chengu Economic Daily. This image won first prize at the 2015 World Press Photo Contest in the Sports Singles category.

Tailang beat out Al Bello of Getty Images' photo of New York Giants' Odell Beckham catching a one-handed touchdown to claim the award. You can check out Bello's image below.

— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) November 24, 2014

He also eclipsed Mark Metcalfe's haunting picture of cricketer Philip Hughes being cared for by his teammates after being struck in the head by a ball during a match. Hughes later succumbed to his injuries just two days later.

— Heather Faulkner (@HAFOTO) February 12, 2015

Tailang entitled his photo, "The Final Game." Lionel Messi's World Cup will ultimately be looked upon as a failure by the player, who is widely regarded to be the best soccer star in the world right now.

This is despite the fact that his virtuoso displays in the group stages of the tournament inspired Argentina to their first World Cup final since 1990. However, his form dove-tailed rapidly in the knockout matches, and most soccer experts were shocked when he was named as the player of the tournament.

Messi has admitted that he will always be haunted by his failure to lead Argentina to the World Cup trophy in Brazil, especially since he was presented with a guilt edge chance in the final that he drove wide.

As the Inquisitr previously reported earlier this month, Messi explained that he still harbors huge regrets over the match.

"What can I say? It's a pity, we had so many good chances to win the game," he noted. "We had the better chances and we'll regret the chances we had but couldn't score for the rest of our lives."

[Image via Getty Images/Clive Rose]