Lionel Messi deserved World Cup Golden Ball - Alejandro Sabella
Lionel Messi deserved to be named the World Cup's best player despite Argentina's 1-0 defeat in Sunday's final, says coach Alejandro Sabella.
Messi, 27, received the Golden Ball after scoring four goals in Brazil but was subdued against Germany.
Sabella said Messi's award was "very deserved", adding: "He played a great World Cup to get us where he did."
Barcelona star Messi said of the award: "The truth is it doesn't interest me at this moment."
The four-time world player of the year added: "We wanted to win the World Cup for all the people in Argentina and we couldn't do it. We tried, but we didn't have the luck we had in other games."
Midfielder Javier Mascherano added: "The pain is immense. We wanted to win this for the people of Argentina, for those who came here to support us, but we lost.
"We have represented our country the best we could. We have to lift our heads despite the pain. We gave everything we could out there."
Messi's goals came during the group stage, with a double against Nigeria following strikes against Bosnia-Hercegovina and Iran.
Former England captain Gary Lineker was disappointed by Messi's performances during the tournament.
Gary Lineker analysis
"I had a feeling watching Messi for Barcelona this season that he was saving himself for the World Cup, but he has clearly not been in brilliant physical condition in Brazil."
"I'm not sure we saw the best of Messi," said the Match Of The Day presenter. "In the final, he was largely suppressed."
Former England defender Rio Ferdinand added: "Messi did some fantastic things, but he wasn't doing it consistently."
Sabella said he was proud of his players but admitted they had paid the price for missing chances against Germany.
Mario Gotze scored the only goal in Rio, volleying home with seven minutes of extra time remaining, but Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Rodrigo Palacio all missed good opportunities for Argentina.
"Beyond the pain of the defeat in the final, they can look themselves in the eyes and say they gave everything for Argentina," Sabella said.
Chris Waddle analysis
"I'm sure Argentina will get a good welcome back home, but they will be thinking they could have won this game. They had all the chances."
The former Leeds and Sheffield United player refused to discuss his future amid reports he is preparing to stand down.
"I cannot speak about the future," said the 59-year-old. "The future for me now is to be with the players and my people - the coaches and my family - and to rest a bit."
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