The resume of Germany’s captain Phillip Lahm, who led from in front in marshalling his forces, enroute to capturing the 20th edition of the FIFA 2014 World Cup and in the process enabling the Germans to achieve a significant amount of records, has indeed left Lahm exposed to the spontaneous “flashing red-card” without any dangerous challenge on an opponent. Nevertheless, Lahm’s defensive exploits as a holding midfielder; in the initial stages, aided by his needle threading passes offensively; which was still evident at his accustomed role at right-back; definitely made him the most accomplished technically correct player at the 2014 World Cup! Now in his third appearance, rationally, I, ask! What more must the individual do to deserve the accolade? Blocked shot (s) when it mattered most; compounded by overlapping attributes; places him in the league of German legends! Franz Beckenhauer, Lothar Matthäus, Jurgen Klinsmann, Oliver Bierhoff, Oliver Kahn, Michael Ballack and the recently retired Miroslav Klose readily come to mind.
Overlapping attributes cannot be over-ruled, which aided the eventual winners’ offence, in the finals as a joy to behold. “As graceful as a swan swirling to the orchestrated harmony of Mozart and Beethoven” gliding as a ballet dancer on ice, was his precise movements.
With 2014 being his third World Cup, no other player in the modern era, has displayed such dynamism and finesse as a defender! Firstly, left-black; right-back, then holding mid-fielder; before resorting to right-back completes the perfect script. Once again, what more can the World ask for, to become a Golden Ball Winner? Who were the selectors, which game/tournament were they watching; when did they wake up? Is it downright tomfoolery, with an overdose of dishonesty?
Finally, of the four (4) semifinalists; sadly, Brazil’s deviation from the beautiful samba style, replaced with rough house tactics offers no candidate. While the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben, with his brilliant solo efforts; constant attacks of the penalty-area, goal bound; with 4 goals to his credit remains a standout! Zabaleta and Macherano of Argentina; for their defensive and midfield exploits respectively are virtual standouts ahead of Messi. As such it comes as no surprise that FIFA’s President, Sepp Blatter has questioned the Award. And Maradona, an Argentina legend, “publicly advocating Messi didn’t deserve it”!
Editor, despite the fact that two previous letters pertaining to the 2014 World Cup were not published, I do hope that hearts and souls are touched with this specific letter, receiving the relevant space, and in the final analysis express my public attachment as supporter for Germany on the World stage for the last 24 years. The Golden Glove; the leading all time World Cup goal scorer; the first substitute to score a winning goal, in a World Cup finals; the first European team to win a finals, in South America. The largest semifinal victory all of which were achieved under the astute leadership of captain, Phillip Lahm, who featured in every match un-substituted, will remain my Golden Ball Winner!
As for the last standing poster boy Lionel Messi, in your own words “don’t cry for me Argentina” por-favor senor, give the underserved trophy to one of your more accomplished team-mates. Why did you hide in the finals, despite not being man-marked? And last but not least, unbelievingly after 120 minutes of football in the dying seconds of the match. With aching legs, absent-mindedness and tiresome, from a distance of 30 metres; did the individual honestly believe he had it all in his arsenal to beat the World’s Best Goalkeeper? Rather than to curl it in the 6 metre for attacking options and a possible goal scoring opportunity, Messi’s free-kick can be equated with a goal-kick that went skyward much to the dismay of his well-wishers and supporters.
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