RIO DE JANEIRO: Four Germans, three Argentines, and one player each from Brazil, Colombia and the Netherlands were shortlisted for the “Golden Ball” award to the World Cup’s best player. The top ten list included World Cup finalists Germany’s defender Mats Hummels, right back Philipp Lahm, midfielder Toni Kroos and forward Thomas Mueller who has scored five goals. For their opponents in Sunday’s final, Argentina, winger Angel Di Maria, midfielder Javier Mascherano and – inevitably – four-goal striker and captain Lionel Messi made the list.

Also included was Colombia’s attacking midfielder James Rodriguez, widely considered to be the revelation of the tournament and top scorer so far with six goals in his team’s run to the quarterfinal where they were beaten by Brazil. The other two players short-listed were Dutch forward Arjen Robben who tormented defences throughout and scored three in the Netherlands’ progress to the semifinal, and Brazil’s Neymar who had played superbly and bagged four goals before being injured.

World governing body Fifa will announce the winner after Sunday’s final. Uruguay striker Diego Forlan was named best player of the South African tournament four years ago. Up for the “Golden Glove” award for best goalkeeper are Germany’s Manuel Neuer, Argentina’s Sergio Romero and Costa Rica’s Keylor Navas who underpinned the Central Americans’ fairy-tale run into a first ever World Cup quarterfinal. The award for best young player is between France’s Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane, and the Netherlands’ Memphis Depay.

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