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Goal pundits from around the world share their view of the main contenders to be the best player of the World Cup

The World Cup is football's ultimate team competition, but also the event in which individuals secure their name's place in history. Greats like Pelé, Diego Armando Maradona, Franz Beckenbauer, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo showed their best football in the world stage and the current crop of stars are eager to follow their steps.

The best of them will get the Golden Ball. It's a prize usually reserved for those who lead their teams to glory, but at times an individual's effort gets rewarded even if his team couldn't take the title home, like Diego Forlan in 2010.

Who is going to win the Race for the Golden Ball? Goal pundits from around the world voted for their candidates.

#1  LIONEL MESSI
 
Argentina's favorable draw gives him a great chance to take an eatly lead in both the Golden Boot and Golden Ball races this time. ::: Luis Herrera

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#2  NEYMAR
 
Neymar is talented enough to contend for the Golden Boot, but if he focuses too much on only scoring goals it will be at Brazil's peril. ::: Dan Orlowitz

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#3  CRISTIANO RONALDO
 
 The Real Madrid star will want to keep his title as World best player, but his physical conditions can be an obstacle. ::: Luiz Alberto Moura

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#4  LUIS SUÁREZ
Uruguay may not be mentioned as one of the favourites, but they have a strong squad and it could be Suarez's chance to shine on the world stage. ::: Teng Kiat
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#5  ANDRÉS INIESTA
His importance to the Spanish team can not be overstated. Iniesta will attempt to reenact the form that led his country to the title in 2010. ::: Lolade Adewuyi 
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#6  THOMAS MÜLLER
Müller has already proven in many games that he is a man for important matches and tournaments. He simply has the killer instinct! ::: Claas Philipp
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#7  ROBIN VAN PERSIE
The focal point of the Netherlands attack, the Manchester United hitman will be raring to go in Brazil after a sub-par season at club level. ::: Teng Kiat
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#8  MARIO GOTZE
Marco Reus' absence will put more pressure over his shoulders, but also give him a bigger chance to shine in his first World Cuo. ::: Luis Herrera
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#9  EDEN HAZARD
The star of a very talented and young Belgium side that many see as the dark horse. Will the Chelsea star lead them to win it all? ::: Luis Herrera
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#10  JAMES RODRÍGUEZ
Colombia
Colombia was a regular mention among possible dark horses until Radamel Falcao's injury. James Rodriguez is now the key player of Los Cafeteros. ::: Luis Herrera
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ALSO GOT VOTES

Andrea Pirlo, Wayne Rooney, Luka Modric

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THE TEAM OF GOAL PUNDITS 

Sergio Chesi 
Goal Italy - Deputy editor 

Chris Davie
Goal UK - Site manager

Lolade Adewuyi
Goal Nigeria - Chief editor

Claas Philipp
Goal Germany - Assistant editor

Luis Herrera
Goal Spain - Deputy editor

Teng Kiat
Goal Singapore - Deputy editor

Luiz Alberto Moura
Goal Brazil - Chief editor

Dan Orlowitz
Goal Japan - Assistant editor

Allen Ramsey
Goal USA - Chief editor

Iain Strachan
Goal Australia - Chief editor 

 

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