Lionel Messi didn't deserve to win the World Cup Golden Ball... it was an incorrect decision, with Maradona going as far as to claim it was all part of a marketing ploy... Did he prove he was the greatest player of all time, no not really. However did he prove that he was the best, most decisive, most influential player at the 2014 World Cup.
Messi is judged more harshly than any other player on the planet. If he doesn't single-handedly win the game for his side, or produce a wonder-goal, he's said to have disappointed... But a poor game for Messi is still better than most people on earth could ever hope for.
It speaks volumes about Lionel Messi's talents that the World Cup he has just enjoyed could still be considered such a catastrophic failure in so many quarters... Fans cried out that there were plenty of others more deserving of the gong... but Messi has to contend with the expectations his performances over the years have built up.
An attempt to score against this 2014 edition of the German football machine is a treacherously difficult scenario... In this World Cup the goalkeeper of the tournament. Perhaps, even in this festival of attacking sensation, the player of the tournament.
You can never truly write off a team that includes Lionel Messi, and the Argentines will still be confident ahead of Wednesday's night's semi-final against the Netherlands. Missing Ángel Di María, though, their job will be that much more difficult.
March proved to be a profitable month for a number of the strikers across Europe's top 5 leagues, with WhoScored.com looking at those that have recently hit a purple patch at club level. There were as many as 12 players that scored in at least 4 league matches over the 31 days - an achievement that we felt was worth recognition.
A month is an awfully long time in the world of football, and even in the shortest one of the year there was plenty of drama and change across Europe's top 5 leagues. Three of the titles look all but decided while La Liga and the Premier League are as open as they possibly could be, and February's standout performers had a huge impact on the final strait in each division.
Following Guardiola's decision to step down at the end of the 2012 campaign, Gerardo 'Tata' Martino now occupies the Blaugrana dugout - and the club find themselves level-pegging with rivals Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid at the top of the Spanish Primera División.
As the old saying goes, "Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice whatever the hell they do in France"
The January sales are a long-standing British tradition - and football clubs across the country will have their shopping trolleys at the ready, as they enter the second half of their respective campaigns.
The Premier League is blessed with a variety of world class talent from across the globe who entertain and enthral an international audience. Here is a countdown of the top 10 players who have yet to play in the Premier League, but should consider a move to England.
When the draw was made on Monday morning, there will have been football fans the world over that wrote off the chances of Manchester City and Arsenal. Had this have been last season, then I would have agreed. This time around, however, I don't.
I'm very confident that if you were to put Ronaldo in the Barcelona squad he would have the same effect as Messi, albeit in his own style. But, and I'm sure people will disagree with this, if you put Messi in a Real Madrid shirt, would he have the same effect? My thought is no. In fact, I'd be willing to bet that he would be less effective at almost any other team in the world.
The news that England will not be among the top seeds for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil is a blessing in disguise... No more excuses, no more confusion. England are not one of the top seeds because they are not one of the top sides. If humility and diligence reign, Hodgson's men could do themselves proud.
With Neymar going to Barcelona it brings some unanswered questions on just how manager Tito Vilanova will get the best out of Messi, Neymar, Iniesta, Pedro, Sanchez, Villa (if he is still there) and Tello, he can't play all of them... so what does he do?
While this may have heralded the rise of Bayern - although it's worth remembering they reached the final in 2010 and 2012, so it's not exactly as though they've suddenly came from nowhere to usurp Barca's throne - it was not necessarily the 'end' of Barcelona.