Originally Posted by rdavisinva
Really enjoyed the games.
In all fairness, Messi had better games than today, but you have to look at who the competition was and how well he played in all the games.
Germany did a good job of contending with Messi.
The Argentine coach is smart and shifted his strategy to counter the opposition and give the best chance of victory.
Argentina completely shifted their play and line up to counter the Dutch who made no changes and played the same old predictable strategy.
Robben and Van Persie are a tough duo to contend with and Argentina shut them down.
I agree that there were perhaps better choices for an award, but someone needs to get it and Messi wasn't a terrible choice, just probably not the best pick.
Robben did a game changing flop (diving to fake he was fouled) that he admitted to later.
That most likely kept him out of the running.
If the Dutch had played against Argentina the way they dispatched Brazil, they would have been in the final round. VP should never have started, or played at all, due to his not being ready to play. Argentina did the same thing during the Dutch game as they did during the Germany game. That is to recognize that the other teams attacking game is FAR better than theirs and park the bus with only occasionally pushing forward to actually score. Holland did not need to shift its strategy. It needed to push for the win against a team that seemed to have no interest in actually scoring, content to do nothing but play defense. They followed the old, most defense way of playing the game. Everyone else has made the transition to playing high on the field, forcing the attack. If anything, Argentina is the team stuck in the same old, same old. Look at Costa Rica and Chile. High lines and high pressure carried them far further than anyone (exception of Klinsmann) thought they would go.
Robben took an admitted dive but what seems to anger most people is that he admitted it, something no one else is willing to do. Neymar did it all tournament. It is Ronaldos other skill. Messi hit the ground. The Italians have it as a game strategy. If Chiellini had not spent the ENTIRE game hitting the ground, the ref probably would have caught the infamous bite knowing that his reaction was genuine. Not just another ploy for attention. Robben was FAR more influential, even with his admitted dive, than Messi was. He might have been edged by only one goal but he spent the entire tournament making deep, striking runs into the box in a position that was not his natural, most played position or even side. Messi spent a good amount of time being in the wrong area of the field and standing around (look at his game yesterday). How many times can you point out where Messi ran back to play defense? Robben was there and then sprinting back to the front to create space and opportunity. Messi is a great player (not the greatest) but his being awarded player of the tournament was more of 'we have to give this poster child something' sort of award.
This was the list for possibilities, as announced by FIFA. Every single one of those names, with the exception of Neymar, seemed to be more deserving of the award than Messi. FIFA seems to be the only one.
Angel Di Maria Argentina
Mats Hummels Germany
Toni Kroos Germany
Phillip Lahm Germany
Javier Mascherano Argentina
Lionel Messi Argentina
Thomas Mueller Germany
Arjen Robben Netherlands
James Rodriguez Colombia