Lionel Messi wins the 2014 World Cup Golden Ball award, which makes no sense


He’s the best player in the world. But in the 2014 World Cup, he wasn’t even the best player on his team.

And yet FIFA recognized him as the best player in the tournament.

Argentina’s Lionel Messi won the Golden Ball, FIFA’s award for the Player of the Tournament. Which, quite frankly, is an utter disgrace.

Messi scored four goals, but none in the knockout stages.  He assisted just one score, and Argentina scored just one goal in their final three matches.

It doesn’t matter if it’s his fault or not (it’s not, he was often triple-teamed by opposition defenses). There were oodles of players better than Messi this tournament.

Starting with his own team, there’s Javier Mascherano.  The Argentinian midfielder was brilliant, making hero tackles and distributing out of the back, and was a major reason why Argentina never trailed the entire World Cup before Gotze’s goal, and hadn’t conceded at the back in around 500 minutes before Germany took the lead.

In fact, you could argue Angel Di Maria was more important to Argentina this tournament, evident by their inability to produce chances once he departed with injury.

Then there’s Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm, and Sami Khedira from the eventual winners, plus Arjen Robben, Neymar, and Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez, plus the gobs of outstanding goalkeeping performances to pick from, including those by Manuel Neuer (the Golden Glove winner), Keylor Navas, and Sergio Romero.

Nonetheless, the Barcelona legend will add yet another award to his trophy case, deserved or not.

His manager even made excuses for his poor performance after the match:

Memphis jersey biggest seller in Premier League

during the Barclays Premier League match between XXX and XXX on September 26, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom.
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Memphis Depay‘s name has been printed on more Premier League jerseys than anybody else.

[ PHOTOS: Must-see Klopp merch ]

According to, the Manchester United winger is the biggest climber on their top 10 list and fans have flocked to have “Memphis” printed on the back of their United jerseys.

The Dutch winger, 21, has had an up-and-down start to life at Old Trafford but that is not detracting fans from having Memphis, the name he prefers, emblazoned on the back of their shirts. Folks from an unnamed city in Tennessee, have you been buying lots of jerseys on the internet? No doubt the number of United fans in that region has sky-rocketed in the last few months. No doubt.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT ]  

Anyway, below is the list of the top 10 players name printed by Kitbag.

Top 10 selling jerseys worldwide

1. Lionel Messi – Barcelona
2. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid
3. Memphis Depay – Manchester United
4. Bastian Schweinsteiger – Manchester United
5. Eden Hazard – Chelsea
6. Wayne Rooney – Manchester United
7. Neymar – Barcelona
8. Sergio Aguero – Manchester City
9. Alexis Sanchez – Arsenal
10. Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool

New Arsenal contracts on the way for Alexis, Ozil

Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil
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Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are both in line to be handed new contracts by Arsenal.

The attacking duo, who have been in fine form in recent weeks after slow starts to the season, both have current deals which run until 2018 but the Gunners are said to be keen on locking the attacking midfielders down to contract extensions.

[ MORE: Dust settles, questions remain for USMNT ] 

According to the Daily Mail, Sanchez is set to become Arsenal’s top earner with a new deal on the table in excess of $220,000.

Sanchez is currently being paid $197,000 per week but is not the highest paid player at the Emirates, with Ozil taking that mantle and earning a cool $215,000 a week. Speaking of Ozil, talks over a new deal for him are also being prepared by Arsene Wenger and club officials with the German playmaker finally showing consistency this season, which is his third campaign in the Premier League following his $63 million move from Real Madrid in 2013.

[ MORE: Sanchez, Ozil dazzle in Arsenal’s win vs. United ]

Sanchez, 26, missed most of Arsenal’s preseason after winning the 2015 Copa America with Chile on home soil this summer, but he is now back in his groove and the former Barcelona forward has scored five goals in his last two PL games and seven times in his last four outings for club and country.

Ozil scored his first goal of the season against Manchester United in Arsenal’s recent 3-0 win, as Ozil and Sanchez ripped United’s defense apart in a stunning 19-minute spell at the beginning of the match.

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With Theo Walcott locked down to a new long-term contract in the summer, Wenger now looks to have found his go-to front three as Walcott, Sanchez and Ozil possess a superb combination of pace, power and trickery. It’s no surprise to hear reports about new deals being prepared for Sanchez and Ozil, as the duo have that extra bit of class which has seen the Gunners win back-to-back FA Cups and comfortably finish in the top four of the PL.

Now, can they kick on and contend for the title this season? If Sanchez and Ozil stay fit and in-form, there’s no reason why not.