The 10 players in the mix for the World Cup’s Golden Ball award have been announced, and there are few surprises in the running for the honor.
So who will join Diego Forlan, Zinedine Zidane, Oliver Kahn, Ronaldo, Romario, Salvatore Schillaci, Diego Maradona, Paolo Rossi and Mario Kempes as the players judged to be the best at a World Cup?
— FIFAWorldCup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 11, 2014
That’s three Argentines (Angel Di Maria, Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano) and four Germans (Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm, Thomas Mueller, Toni Kroos) with token appearances from Brazil (Neymar), Colombia (James Rodriguez) and the Netherlands (Arjen Robben).
Anyone get a raw deal from the nominating committee? An argument could be made for Keylor Navas of Costa Rica, while Robin van Persie, Karim Benzema and Andre Schurrle all scored thrice and were imperative to their teams limited runs. And of course there are myriad defenders who played integral parts in their nations’ tournaments, but there have been no major slights here.