November 15, 2022 3:37 PM
Last modified date: December 19, 2022 11:23 AM
Trystan Pugh

Every Golden Ball winner in FIFA World Cup history

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup will play host to some of the best players in the world those who stand out will be in contention to claim the prestigious Golden Ball award. It is handed to the best player in the tournament and while many previous winners are high-profile names, there are a handful of surprises.

Below is the list of all winners of the Golden Ball award, dating back to its inception in 1978:

Luka Modric (Croatia) landed the gong in 2018 as he helped his side advance to the final where they ultimately succumbed to France. Prior to that, Lionel Messi (Argentina) claimed the award back in 2014 and his long-term rival Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) will be desperate to put himself in contention in what could well be his last World Cup.

Other big name winners include Zinedine Zidane (France), Ronaldo (Brazil) and Diego Maradona (Argentina) but nobody is yet to claim the award more than once, something which Messi will be eyeing up as he looks to cap his magnificent career with a World Cup trophy and should Argentina achieve that feat, he has to be fancied to be in the mix to claim the Golden Ball.

Perhaps the most surprising name on the list is legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. He helped his side to the final in 2002 having kept five clean sheets and while they were edged by Brazil, he became the only ‘keeper in World Cup history to land the Golden Ball for his efforts in that tournament.

Messi enjoyed a record-breaking campaign in Qatar and not only did he break the record for most appearances in FWC matches as well as landing the Jules Rimet trophy itself with his Argentina side but the maestro was also named as the player of the tournament for the role he played in their success.

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