The 2014 Fifa World Cup has come to a close, with Germany beating Argentina to lift the famous trophy for the fourth time. This is also the first time a European team is winning the tournament on the American continent.
The German team started the tournament as one of the favourites and looked the strongest team throughout the campaign, and it all culminated with the 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil in the semi-final and a collected and determined display to beat Argentina 1-0 in one of the most entertaining finals in World Cup history.
Meanwhile, through the tournament there have been shining lights in various teams -- players who stepped up to the big stage and made a difference to their respective countries, be it strikers, midfielders or defenders.
Fifa nominated ten players for the Adidas Golden Ball award, an award given to the best player in the entire duration of the tournament. The nominees included four Germans -- Toni Kroos, Philip Lahm, Mats Hummels and Thomas Muller. Argentina had three of their stars, Javier Mascherano, Angel Di Maria and Lionel Messi. The remaining three nominees were Colombia's James Rodriguez, Arjen Robben from the Netherlands and Brazilian star Neymar.
The winner was adjudged by a Fifa panel after the completion of the final match. The Golden Ball was awarded to Argentina's Lionel Messi for inspiring the Argentinean team to their first final in 24 years.
However, the decision to award Messi the Golden Ball did not go down well in the football world. There were plenty of fans and certain pundits who felt there were far more deserving players for the award than the Argentinean maestro.
Below are some of the reactions from the fans regarding the decision: