RIO DE JANEIRO: Only three of the 10 nominees for the official best player of the World Cup does not come from either finalists Argentina and Germany.
The three ‘outsiders’ are James Rodriguez from Colombia, Brazil’s Neymar and Holland’s Arjen Robben. Rodriguez had been touted in some quarters for the young player award but he was born on July 12, 1991, and the cut-off date is January 1, 1993.
The Golden Ball nominees from Argentina are Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and Leo Messi and the German four are centre back Mats Hummels, versatile captain Philipp Lahm, midfielder Toni Kross and forward Thomas Muller.
Rodriguez currently leads the top scorer ranking with six goals followed by Muller on five.
Keylor Navas’s fine performances for Costa Rica are recognised with his inclusion among the trio nomination for the Golden Glove along with Germany’s Manuel Neuer and Argentina’s semi-final shootout hero Sergio Romero.
The young player prize list is more controversial with Memphis Depay who was largely an impact substitute for Holland, France midfielder Paul Pogba and defensive team-mate Rafael Varane who was beaten decisely in the air by Hummels for Germany’s winning goal in their quarter-final.