Unlike the Golden Ball, the FIFA had no choice but to get it right at the 2014 World Cup by handing Colombia's James Rodriguez the Golden Boot for most goals.
Rodriguez is the first Colombian to win the Golden Boot and is also the first to take home a first-place finish in the Striker Index. As all of the teams save for Brazil were away teams in the tournament, the away goals factor of the Strike Index was tweaked to account for goals scored in the knockout round as opposed to the group stage. Here's the Top 10 in the Striker Index for the 2014 World Cup:
|Player||Team||Average Rank||Goals/90 Minutes|
|Robin van Persie||NED||4.2||0.66|
James Rodriguez scored half of his six goals in the knockout round of the tournament, matching Andre Schuerrle's three goals in the knockout round. Rodriguez also impressively scored at least one goal in each of Colombia's five matches in the World Cup, which also ranked him first in goals scored per 90 minutes of action. Overall, Rodriguez ranked first in half of the eight categories that go into the Striker Index. No other player finished first in more than two categories (Schuerrle topped shots on goal per 90 minutes, 3.32, and tied Rodriguez in knockout round goals). Tellingly in a high-scoring event, only one player in the Top 10, Enner Valencia, did not see his team advance from the group stage while the champion and third-place finisher each had two players in the Top 10.
Valencia and Benzema both had success in the group stage of the World Cup with very different shooting efforts. Benzema took 31 attempts (15 on net) at a rate of 6.2 per 90 minutes while Valencia only needed eight shots in three matches to notch three goals for his side.
Who won LAG Confidential's version of the Golden Ball with the Match Impact Rating? Stay tuned.