Eyebrows were raised when Messi was the recipient of the accolade, and Maradona says that the Monaco playmaker should have scooped the gong.
The Telegraph quotes him as saying: "Leo is worthy of all the praise – he is the best but when judges award you something you do not deserve to win, it's unfair.
"I saw it as I did and he was not the best of the tournament. That should have been James Rodriguez.
"I would give [Messi] heaven if possible. But it's not right when someone wins something that he shouldn't have won just because of some marketing plan [from Adidas]."
Rodriguez finished as the competition's top scorer with six goals.