RIO DE JANEIRO, July 14 (itar-Tass) - Lionel Messi, the captain of the Argentinian football squad, was named the best player of the 2014 World Cup, which concluded in Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro on Sunday night with the final match between the Argentinian star’s team and Germany.
Messi played a total of seven matches during this global football tournament, which kicked off on June 12, scoring a total of four goals.
As he was named the best player of this World Cup and awarded with the trophy in the form of a golden football, Messi’s emotions were far from being happy and on the contrary his face showed deep disappointment and regret as his team lost 0-1 to Germany in the final clash for the world champions’ title.
The winning goal of the decider for the global football’s crown at the over 74,700-seat Maracana Stadium was netted by German forward Mario Goetze, 22, in the second 15-minute half of the extended time (113th minute).
However, with seconds shy of the match’s final whistle, Argentinian fans held their breath in anticipation as Messi positioned himself for a free kick, which could have tied the score to take the final match to the penalty shootout.
However, the cannoned ball by Messi went way higher of the German goal’s upper bar in a reminiscent of the 1994 World Cup in Mexico, where Italian leading player Roberto Baggio sent the ball also over the upper bar in a deciding penalty shot of the final match, causing his team’s loss to eventual world champions Brazil.
At this World Cup in Brazil Messi also set a new record of total matches played for the national team breaking the previous mark held by his legendary fellow-countryman Diego Maradona.
The semifinal match in Brazil’s Sao Paolo on Wednesday was the 92nd for the 27-year-old forward, who is also the 2008 Olympic champion, comparing to 91 played by Maradona for the Argentinian national team.
Fabled Maradona scored a total of 34 goals playing for the national team, while Messi had surpassed him scoring 43 netters, but was not fortunate enough to score more at the closing game of the 2014 World Cup.
Two-time world champions Argentina (1978, 1986) are now also two-time world vice champions following tonight’s final clash.
This was the third final face-off for Argentina and Germany with the frames of the World Cup series. They first time played for the title in 1986 in Mexico, where the Argentinians defeated the Nationalmannschaft 3-2, and then in Italy in 1990, when the German squad avenged La Albiceleste with 1-0 victory.
Their third time final meeting is the first in the history of World Cups with only Italy and Brazil playing each other at this stage of the global football tournaments twice in 1970 and 1994.
In all prior to tonight’s match, both teams had an overall history of 20 matches played against each other and besides the five tied matches Argentina packed nine victories against Germany’s six. The number of scored goals stood even at 28 both for Germany and Argentina.