Toni Kroos set for Real Madrid move after World Cup - Beckenbauer

Toni Kroos… Must. Not. Make. 'Kroos Control' pun. Must. Not.

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Straight from Der Kaiser himself, the news that Germany's exemplary midfielder (and Golden Ball nominee) Toni Kroos has his heart set on a move from Bayern to Real Madrid this summer.

Kroos, who snubbed a move to Manchester United, is having a wonderful World Cup and has surely seen his value soar since Germany kicked off its campaign with a big win over Portugal.

World Cup Golden Ball nominees announced: Messi and Neymar on shortlist

Neymar exited the World Cup in cruel fashion but may yet win the Golden Ball.

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Adidas have announced the ten-player shortlist for the Golden Ball award at the World Cup. The nominees are:

Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Neymar (Brazil)
Toni Kroos (Germany)
Arjen Robben (Holland)
Angel Di Maria (Argentina)
Phillipp Lahm (Germany)
Thomas Mueller (Germany)
Javier Macherano (Argentina)
Mats Hummels (Germany)
James Rodriguez (Colombia)

Rizzoli to referee 2014 World Cup final, Howard Webb misses out

The Italian official accused last week of favouring Argentina and Lionel Messi has been chosen to referee their World Cup final against Germany.

Nicola Rizzoli, a 42-year-old who refereed the 2013 Champions League final at Wembley, will take charge of the match in the Maracana on Sunday but his appointment may be controversial.

Nicola Rizzoli.

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Rizzoli was the target of criticism from Belgium's Marc Wilmots after the 1-0 quarter-final defeat by Argentina last Saturday.

Wilmots claimed: "I don't want to be a cry baby, but I noticed the referee never gives fouls against Argentina.

"Every time something happens with Messi the referee gives him a free-kick.

"I notice he [Messi] made three fouls and no yellow card, we made one foul and one yellow card."

It will be the third time this World Cup that Rizzoli has refereed a match involving Argentina - he was also in charge of the South Americans' 3-2 win over Nigeria in Group F.

His first match of the tournament was Holland's 5-1 triumph over Spain in the group stage.

Ravshan Irmatov, from Uzbekistan, had been viewed as one of the favourites for the final as he is from neither Europe nor South America, but he does not have a team of assistants who work all the time with him.

England's Howard Webb was never in contention to referee the final - he was in charge of the 2010 showpiece and FIFA has never before appointed an official to referee two World Cup finals.

It was also felt that it would be too sensitive to have Webb referee a match in which Argentina are involved - the team are still going through a FIFA disciplinary process for displaying a banner claiming the Falkland Islands should belong to their country.

Furthermore, Argentina's FIFA senior vice-president Julio Grondona has never hidden his disdain for England. In 2011 he called the English "liars" at the FIFA Congress and in an interview with the German press agency DPA referred to the English as "pirates".

FIFA's referees' chief Massimo Busacca, who is Swiss, said he had paid no attention to Wilmots' claims and that "quality" was the reason for choosing Rizzoli.

Busacca told a news conference in Rio de Janeiro: "I think the neutrality of the referees has been there in every game.

"If you ask me whether we paid attention on that I say no. If we pay attention on every single complaint the coaches make we will not select any more referees.

"If you have the best quality then you should be given the best matches."

Watch Brazil vs Holland World Cup third-place playoff live on ITV

Can Brazil restore some pride after the semi-final nightmare in Belo Horizonte?

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Matt Smith is joined by Martin O'Neill, Glenn Hoddle and Ian Wright for live coverage of the World Cup play-off for third place from the Estadio Nacional in Brasilia.

Hosts Brazil are still reeling from their shock 7-1 semi-final drubbing by Germany. Now, Luiz Felipe Scolari's team will be expected to restore some national pride in their final match of the tournament. For their part, Holland need to overcome the disappointment of an agonising semi-final defeaton penalties by Argentina.

Van Gaal reopens war of words with Scolari

Holland coach Louis van Gaal remains convinced the World Cup was set up to favour hosts Brazil and says he would have preferred to have lost 7-1 than suffer penalty heartbreak in the semi-final.

Louis van Gaal said he is now happy to play the third-place play-off because he wants Holland to finish the tournament "unbeaten".

Credit: Mike Egerton/PA Wire