Women's World Cup: United States' Carli Lloyd wins Golden Ball award

Michael Chow / Reuters

She was the leading contender heading into the final, but there was still some lingering doubt about her worthiness for the honour. Upon the final whistle on Sunday, that doubt had been obliterated.

After scoring a hat trick in the United States' 5-2 win over Japan in the Women's World Cup final, midfielder Carli Lloyd was presented with the Golden Ball award, presented to the competition's best player.

Lloyd's hat trick, which was the first in any Women's World Cup final, brought her goal tally up to six goals - she scored in each of the United States' four knockout matches. She also finished the tournament with one assist, and was the undisputed star of the competition's best team.

She was, simply, the best player at the 2015 Women's World Cup.