The Golden Ball hasn’t always been part of the FIFA World Cup. Awarded to the tournament’s best player, the award was introduced in 1982 and first won by Paolo Rossi, who also won the Golden Boot that year for scoring the most goals. Since then, only one other player – Salvatore Schillaci in 1990 – has won both the Golden Ball and Golden Boot.
Other winners of the Golden Ball include Diego Maradona (1986), Zinedine Zidane (2006), and Lionel Messi (2014). Luka Modric of Croatia won the award in 2018. Check out FIFA World Cup Props so you don’t miss your chance to bet on the odds of the Golden Ball contenders to win the award.
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Golden Ball Betting Analysis, Odds, and Picks
Updated Outright Golden Ball Betting Odds
- Kylian Mbappe +300
- Lionel Messi +600
- Richarlison de Andrade +1200
- Junior Vincius de Oliveira +1400
- Cristiano Ronaldo +1600
Mbappe Even Better in Second World Cup
Kylian Mbappe, the winner of the Best Young Player at the 2018 World Cup and only the second teenager to ever score in a World Cup Final, is solidifying his status as one of the best players in the world in Qatar.
Mbappe opened at +1100 odds to win the Golden Ball and had the third-shortest odds behind Neymar (+1000) and Messi (+750).
Mbappe scored the 3-1 goal in France’s 4-1 victory over Australia last Tuesday. He then scored both goals in France’s 2-1 victory over Denmark on Saturday.
France secured its spot in the Round of 16 with the victory. Mbappe scored the decisive game-winner for France against Denmark on a beautiful cross from Antoine Griezmann. The 23-year-old now has seven World Cup goals, a feat only Pele accomplished at that age.
Messi Still in Contention
While it appeared Argentina could be on the ropes following a loss in its first match against Saudi Arabia, the country responded beautifully with a 2-0 victory over Mexico on Saturday. Messi scored the 1-0 goal in the 64th minute of the match in what was one of the best long-distance strikes of the tournament.
Messi won the award in 2014 and would be the first player to win the Golden Ball twice if he can do so again in Qatar. Argentina plays Poland on Wednesday and needs at least a draw to have a shot at advancing. It could punch its ticket to the Round of 16 with a victory, but with a draw, it would need Saudi Arabia to draw or lose against Mexico.
Richarlison de Andrade Leading the Charge for Brazil
Brazil is one of just six teams yet to play its second match as of publication time. The team meets Switzerland on Monday in its second of three Group Stage matches. Brazil had little trouble with Serbia on Thursday, defeating the Eastern European nation 2-0.
Richarlison, who had the fewest touches through 60 or so minutes, scored the opening goal in the 62nd minute of that match and then followed that up 11 minutes later with what has been the goal of the tournament thus far.
The 25-year-old Tottenham striker corraled the ball in the box off his chest and spun and fired a bicycle kick right past the Serbian keeper. He could become a favorite to win the Golden Ball with another strong performance Monday.
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