Messi, Mueller, Rodriguez among contenders for World Cup`s best

Brasilia: Four Germans, three Argentines, and one player each from Brazil, Colombia and the Netherlands were short-listed on Friday 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 quarter-final 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 semi-final, 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 quarter-final.

The award for best young player is between France`s Paul Pogba and Raphael Varane, and the Netherlands` Memphis Depay.

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