Lionel Messi has been awarded the 2014 World Cup Golden Ball as the best player of the tournament. The Argentine collected the trophy in the aftermath of his side's narrow defeat to Germany in the tournament's final, and understandably didn't look too consoled by his prize.
However, Messi edged out several outstanding nominees to win the award, including German World Cup winners Mats Hummels, Toni Kroos, Thomas Müller and Philipp Lahm. Though he failed to really perform to his astonishing best in the final, he was unquestionably the shining light in the vast majority of Argentina's matches.
When the albiceleste were struggling to break down disciplined defences in the group stages, it was often their talismanic captain who came to their rescue with moments of individual brilliance, the most memorable moment being his stunning winning goal against Iran. Hopefully the trophy will go some way to cheering up sad Leo after the devastation of the final has worn off.