• World Cup

Germany lead the way for Golden Ball

ESPN staff
July 12, 2014
Mats Hummels has been instrumental for Germany at the World Cup © Getty Images

FIFA has announced the ten-man shortlist for its Golden Ball award - also known as the player of the tournament at the World Cup.

Germany have the most nominees with Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Mueller all making the list. Fellow finalists Argentina are represented by Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and Lionel Messi.

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Thomas Mueller has five goals in Brazil © Getty Images
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Hummels has been part of a strong German defence and scored against both Portugal and France, while Kroos scored twice in the 7-1 demolition of Brazil. Mueller, who won the Golden Boot in South Africa, netted a hat-trick against Portugal and also found the back of the net against the USA and Brazil. Lahm has skippered the Germans superbly, playing in both midfield and defence.

Di Maria has been Argentina's main attacking threat other than Messi, and he was sorely missed in the shootout win over Netherlands in the semi-finals. Messi has scored four goals in the tournament to challenge for top scorer while Mascherano has been a rock in the centre of the park.

Brazil striker Neymar, Netherlands forward Arjen Robben and Colombia's star man James Rodriguez also make the list.

Neymar is widely considered to have carried the host nation to the semi-finals before their humiliating defeat to Germany, while Arjen Robben excelled throughout for the Dutch.

Rodriguez, who remains in pole position for the Golden Boot with two games to go, is the only player not to have taken part in the semi-finals. He scored in every game, netting six in total.

The shortlist is compiled by FIFA's Technical Study Group.

FIFA also announced that Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli has been awarded the final.

The shortlist for the young player of the tournament features two France players in Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane, along with Memphis Depay of the Netherlands.

Keylor Navas of Costa Rica, Argentina's Sergio Romero and Germany's Manuel Neuer will battle it out for the Golden Glove award for goalkeepers.

Previous Golden Ball winners:
1982: Paolo Rossi (Italy)
1986: Diego Maradona (Argentina)
1990: Salvatore Schilacci (Italy)
1994: Romario (Brazil)
1998: Ronaldo (Brazil)
2002: Oliver Kahn (Germany)
2006: Zinedine Zidane (France)
2010: Diego Forlan (Uruguay)

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