After Germany’s win over Argentina in the 2014 World Cup final, FIFA awarded the Golden Ball to Lionel Messi and the Golden Glove (for goalkeeping) to Manuel Neuer. There were countless other memorable highlights and standout players over the last month, so here are a few more World Cup awards.
Rodrigo Palacio did not play much for Argentina in the final, but he stood out montheless as his signature rat-tail trailed behind him as he ran. It looks like Palacio forgot to cut one long strand of hair. But trust us, it’s on purpose.
Runner up: Paul Pogba’s Mohawk
Argentina’s goalkeeper Sergio Romero made two saves in the semifinal penalty shootout against the Netherlands. The second one, which was arguably the more impressive, also punched Argentina’s ticket into the finals. Apparently Romero kept some notes in his shorts, which he looked at before the shootout. Smart guy.
Runner up: Guillermo Ochoa’s save on Neymar’s header
Paul Pogba may have been named the tournament’s best young player, but it is impossible not to recognize the achievement of Germany’s Mario Goetze. The 22-year-old came on in the 88th minute of the final, scoring the decisive goal in extra time on an impressive blast with the left foot. Goetze has struggled in the past for Bayern Munich, but you can be sure that he has gained some confidence now and will be an important face for the German side in 2018.
Runner up: Julian Green (USA)
What a Flop!
It’s hard to pick just one of these because they have become so commonplace in international soccer. But the biggest flop of the tournament is still the one Brazil’s Fred committed in the opening match against Croatia. It earned the host team a penalty shot, which Neymar buried. Had the ref held his whistle on the play, the tears could have been flowing for Brazil a lot earlier in this tournament.
Runner up: Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany)
Most Memorable Goal
The US was eliminated in the first game of the knockout stage, but the road to that point was truly thrilling. The biggest goal came off the head of substitute John Brooks against Ghana in the 86th minute. It gave America the win, a victory that eventually allowed them to move on to the next round. Brooks’ reaction, one of joyous disbelief, makes this goal even more unforgettable.
Runner up: Robin Van Persie against Spain
Photos: CREDIT, Ronald Martinez/Getty Images, Thanassis Stavrakis/AP Photo