The sinister FIFA Technical Study Group (sounds like something out of one of CS Lewis's alien paranoia novels) has come up with the Golden Ball nominees for this World Cup (we must therefore assume that the best player will not emerge because of the final).
All attacking players.
Diego Forlan - Got to be in with a shout if just for the steely blue eyed (thousand yard) stares. If he'd scored a few for Man U he'd be a real star now, I think.
Asamoah Gyan - Work rate, flashes of skill, a face like a beautiful Battersea Dog.
Andres Iniesta - heartbeat, indistinguishable from the even more metronomic Xavi, also nominated. Hobbits with attitude.
Lionel Messi - er, really? Only if you've been watching the adverts and not the games.
Mesut Oezil - played in odd, lost spaces; found passes, scored a cracker. Best player until the Semi, I think.
Arjen Robben - giving it to someone with only one foot seems like positive discrimination; falls over air.
Bastian Schweinsteiger - the heartbeat of Germany; passed like a Spaniard.
Wesley Sneijder - a good final and he's in with a shout; seems like a lucky player and luck is the best skill you can have.
David Villa - fox in (and out) of the box. Spain would still be passing it, if he didn't occasionally swing a leg.
I guess this hasn't been a World Cup for individuals; teams have made all the brilliant displays, shared the joy and the burden. I guess this also explains why there are no defenders here; the good defenders have defended as a unit, only occasionally leaked. A triumph of organisation.
Still, Lionel Messi - really?