Messi picked up the award for best player in the tournament following Argentina’s 1-0 loss to Germany in the final on Sunday.
The Barcelona star scored four goals and assisted one as he led his country out of the group stage of the competition, but seemed to fade in the crunch knockout fixtures.
Maradona, who coached Messi back at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has implied that FIFA selected Messi for marketing reasons, and that he was not the right choice for the accolade.
"I would give heaven and earth to Leo, but when marketing people want him to win something he didn't (deserve to) win, it is unfair," Maradona said, according to The Telegraph."I could see that he didn't want to go up and collect it (the award)."
Maradona also said that Colombia star James Rodriguez was the worthy winner of the award, following his six goals that saw his country to the quarter-finals of the tournament.
Rodriguez was also a contender for goal of the tournament, after his spectacular volley against Uruguay helped his side progress to the quarter-finals.
For eventual Golden Ball winner Messi, though, Sunday perhaps represented a large case of missed opportunity for the 27-year-old, who failed to add a World Cup triumph to his long list of footballing achievements.