Diego Maradona: 'Lionel Messi should not have won award'

Argentina's coach Diego Maradona hugs Argentina's striker Lionel Messi after the 2010 World Cup quarter final Argentina vs Germany on July 3, 2010
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Argentina legend Diego Maradona claims that FIFA's Golden Ball award should have gone to James Rodriguez and not Lionel Messi.

Argentina legend Diego Maradona has claimed that FIFA's Golden Ball should have been awarded to Colombia's James Rodriguez, and not Lionel Messi.

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.

James Rodriguez of Colombia celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28, 2014
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