The only man today, who is more of a hero in Argentina than Lionel Messi, is Argentine icon, Diego Maradona. Less than 24 hours after the World Cup Final ended, Maradona spoke out about his former player and current Golden Ball recipient.

“He did not deserve to win the Golden Ball.” he said. “I would give him heaven if possible, but it’s not right when someone wins something that he shouldn’t have won just because of some marketing plan.” He told the telvesion show Telesur on Monday.

Messi beat the likes of Thomas Muller, Arjen Robben, James Rodriguez and his own teammate Javier Mascherano for the prize. He scored four goals in seven matches for Argentina, but no goals during the knockout rounds.

Maradona believes that the only reason Messi won the award was for marketing or commercial reasons. While Maradona is not alone in his opinion that Messi should not have won the Golden Ball, as I earlier wrote, unless you were going to give it to Mascherano, Messi was the best choice under the circumstances.

Maradona also discussed his feelings of disappointment over his country’s 1-0 defeat in Sunday’s final to Germany.

“I feel sorry for my country. Mario Goetze’s goal really hurt. There’s a huge sadness in my heart that we lost the final.” he said. “All things put together, I think Argentina deserved at least penalties. That Germany won was the result of a misunderstanding in the Argentine defense.”

Maradona won the Golden Ball trophy in 1986 after Argentina beat the Netherlands on penalties. If he doesn’t think Messi should have won the award, who does he think deserved it?

“Colombia’s James Rodriguez, who won the Golden Boot, was my choice for the Golden Ball.” he declared.