Maradona to Messi: World Cup's Golden Ball winners

The first golden ball award was handed out only from the 1982 World Cup and is given to the best player of the tournament.

Striker Paolo Rossi shot blanks in his first three matches of the tournament despite Italy qualifying for the second round without a win under its belt.
Rossi's brilliance came to the fore in the next round when he single-handedly decimated Brazil with a hat-trick.
He followed it up with a brace in the semifinal win over Poland and the opening goal in the final against West Germany to lead Italy to its third World Cup win.
His six goals earned him the tournament's first ever Golden Ball award.
Photo: AFP
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It could be argued that Diego Maradona's display at the Mexico World Cup is the most complete performance by an individual player.
He had a hand in 10 - 5 goals and 5 assists - of the 14 goals scored by Argentina in its World Cup win.
His most memorable moment came during the 2-0 win over England in the quarterfinal. He scored the controversial 'Hand of God' goal and followed it up with a mesmerising strike when he left five England players biting the dust.
Belgium was put to the sword by Maradona's brace in the semifinal before he provided for Argentina's third goal in the 3-0 final win over West Germany.
Photo: AP
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The diminutive striker - the unexpected star of the 1990 World Cup - conjured up the decisive moments in Italy's third place on home soil.
Schillachi, who made his international debut in the months leading up to the showpiece tournament, scored in the group stages, second round, quarterfinal, semifinal and in the third place match.
He surpassed celebrated strikers Roger Milla, Gary Lineker, Lothar Matthaus and Jurgen Klinsmann to emerge as the top-scorer and clinch the Golden Ball.
Photo: AFP
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Romario, known for his prolific finishing, is the last Golden Ball winner to come from a World Cup-winning side.
He finished the tournament with five goals, two of those coming in the quarterfinal and the semifinal. He also provided the assist for Bebeto's game-clinching goals against the USA in the Round-of-16.
Although he failed to score in the final against Italy, he converted his penalty in the shoot-out win.
Photo: AFP
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The explosive forward arrived at the 1998 tournament in France billed as the 'world's greatest player'. In Brazil's run to the final, Ronaldo fired in four goals while providing three assists.
A seizure suffered in the lead up to the final rendered him unfit only for him to be named in the line-up 45 minutes prior to kick-off. Ronaldo wasn't able to make the desired contribution to his side as it crashed to a 3-0 defeat to the host.
Photo: AFP
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Oliver Kahn remains the only goalkeeper to have received the Golden Ball award.
However, it was Kahn's mistake in the final that cost Germany the World Cup and in the process allowed Ronaldo to have his redemption moment.
Despite the error, the tournament will be remembered for Kahn's sensational saves produced in Germany's run to being the second best team in the world.
Photo: Getty Images
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In what was his last international tournament, the 34-year-old Zidane powered France to yet another final.
His dazzling creativity in Germany was overshadowed by a moment of madness in the final when he head-butted Italy's Marco Materazzi and was sidlelined from the contest even as France went down in the penalty shoot-out.
After a modest start to the World Cup, Zidane showcased his class in the knock-outs with three goals. His solitary assist, an inch-perfect set piece delivery, knocked holder Brazil out of the last-eight stage.
Photo: Getty Images
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Not known for being on the same breath as his other prodigiously-gifted peers, Forlan made the world stand up and take notice with his stunning goals that lifted Uruguay to the semifinals of the World Cup.
Among the striker's five goals, three could qualify as the best goal of any World Cup tournament.
Photo: AP
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While football's ultimate prize has eluded the Argentinian, Messi's brilliance earned him the best player award in the 2014 World Cup.
Messi scored five and assisted a goal in Argentina's run to the final but openings were hard to come by in the decider against Germany.
Photo: AFP
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