After the World Cup came to a close with Germany’s victory over Argentina on Sunday in Rio, there were still a few prizes left to hand out. The awards, which are selected by a group of FIFA coaching analysts, went to players from both teams represented in the final, as well as a few players from teams that made earlier exits.
Despite failing to convert a scoring opportunity that might have changed the outcome of the final, Argentina’s Lionel Messi received the Golden Ball award for most valuable player of the World Cup, finishing ahead of Germany’s Thomas Muller and Dutch forward Arjen Robben, both of whom also had spectacular tournaments. Muller and Messi scored five and four goals, respectively, in the World Cup, and helped their teams to the final match.
However, neither player found the net often enough to win the Golden Boot award for the tournament’s top scorer. That prize went to 23-year-old James Rodriguez, who emerged as the rising star of a young Colombia team. Though Colombia was eliminated by Brazil in the quarterfinals, that was still enough time for Rodriguez to score an impressive six goals, earning him the scoring trophy.
Despite stiff competition in a tournament that featured a number of standout goalkeeping performances from players including Mexico’s Guillermo Ochoa and the United States’ Tim Howard, Germany keeper Manuel Neuer emerged victorious to net the Golden Glove prize for best goalkeeper, thanks to a solid and consistent performance that helped his team take home the biggest trophy of all.
21-year-old French midfielder Paul Pogba won the award for the tournament’s best young player.