World Cup Golden Ball – Complete Betting Guide

With FIFA World Cup 2022 approaching, the Golden Ball is a big topic of conversation. Who will prove to be the World Cup’s best players? And where can you get the best odds when you bet on the player of the tournament? Our expert guide will talk you through every step of the process, explaining exactly how to bet on the World Cup Golden Ball, and showing you where to find the best odds in the Middle East and North Africa.

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World Cup Golden Ball – Complete Betting Guide

Where to Bet on the World Cup Golden Ball

Before you place a bet on the World Cup Golden Ball, you need to make sure you’re getting maximum value. That means excellent odds on both the favourites and the longshots – and a juicy welcome bonus or World Cup promotion can also help boost your returns.

We’ve handpicked the best site for World Cup Golden Ball betting odds, which you can see below. Or scroll down to read more in our guide.

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What is the World Cup Golden Ball?

The World Cup Golden Ball is an award which goes to the man of the tournament. The decision on who wins the award is undertaken by a carefully selected panel of experts. It’s a very significant award that presents a great opportunity for you to bet on who you think will be the player of the series.

Whats the Golden Ball in World Cup?

The Golden Ball is awarded to the player who plays the best over the course of a World Cup. A typical run to the final involves seven games: three in the group stage, then the round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the final itself. This means one brilliant run of form and any player could receive the Golden Ball at a World Cup.

How Does a Player Win the Golden Ball?

First, the FIFA technical committee draw up a shortlist of the World Cup’s best players. This is based on their performance in that World Cup alone; it’s not just a list of the overall best players in general. Next, the vote goes over to the media. The outcome is then determined with a winner, runner up and third place announced. Second and third place receive the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball respectively, but the crown prize is the Golden Ball which goes to the winner.

Are Ballon d’Or and Golden Ball the same?

The Ballon d’Or is an award presented to the best player each year, but the introduction of the ‘Best FIFA Men’s Player’ award in 2016 has somewhat usurped it. Before that, the Ballon d’Or briefly merged with the Golden Ball from 2010-2015. Confusing stuff, but the essential answer is that the Ballon d’Or and Golden Ball are indeed separate awards.

World Cup 2022 Best Players: Golden Ball Favourites

With the next major tournament just around the corner, who will be declared the best players at this World Cup?

Our experts took a look at the top current players in football around the world, and cross-referenced this with a deep dive into the previous winners of the World Cup Golden Ball to come up with a shortlist of five football betting favourites:

Kylian Mbappe

Mbappe made headlines earlier this year when he shocked the world by turning down interest from Real Madrid and staying with current club PSG in a lucrative deal which will net him a reported €1 million per week. That kind of deal doesn’t materialise unless you’re one of the best players in the world, and that’s exactly what Mbappe will be looking to prove by lifting the Golden Ball at the World Cup.

Harry Kane

England go into the tournament among the favourites and their leading striker will fancy his chances of scooping the Golden Ball if England go all the way. The Three Lions came close last World Cup, reaching the semi-finals, and closer still at Euro 2020 where they were eliminated in the final. Could this be their – and Kane’s – year?

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema may be 34 years of age but he’s arguably in the form of his life, flourishing in a Real Madrid team where he’s no longer outshone by mega stars like Cristiano Ronaldo. The Frenchman scored a series of remarkable goals in some extremely high pressure situations to help Los Blancos capture a record 14th Champions League title. He’ll be looking to do the same at the World Cup and could stand a change of gaining a Golden Ball in the process.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Returning to the club who helped announce him to the world, six-time Ballon d’Orwinner Ronaldo proved he still has what it takes to rank among the Premier League top scorers – even at 37 years old in a relatively weak Manchester United side. A man obsessed with personal accolades and shattering records, don’t be surprised if Ronaldo wins the Golden Ball at this World Cup.

Kevin de Bruyne

Manchester City ended the 2021/22 Premier League season with the title, 93 points, and a goal difference of +73. That was thanks in no small part to their midfield maestro Kevin de Bruyne, who netted 15 times in the league to rank as the champions’ top goal scorer. That included four in one game against Wolves. Look out for him among the Golden Ball World Cup contenders.

Bet on World Cup 2022 Best Players Today

Placing wagers on the World Cup’s best players is a lucrative and exciting market for many reasons. For one thing, the possibilities are endless – any player, any position, any country. And that includes some at longer odds, which means you could win big if a dark horse lifts the World Cup Golden Ball.

The judging process adds an element of mystery, which can be exciting when the player you picked makes the shortlist for the player of the tournament. And, because the World Cup is such a popular competition, there are usually some juicy bonuses and promotions floating around to add even more value to your Golden Ball World Cup bets.

Incidentally, here’s our favourite betting site for the Golden Ball market based on the current odds and promotions available:

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List of World Cup Best Players (Golden Ball)

Although the Golden Ball doesn’t receive as much media attention as the Golden Boot, and perhaps not even as much as the best young player of the tournament, it’s a very prestigious award which has a rich history of exceptional winners. Some of the best players to ever play football professionally have been awarded the Golden Ball at World Cups, such as Diego Maradona and the Brazilian Ronaldo.

But there are also some names on the list which are less predictable. Like Diego Forlán, who was awarded the Golden Ball at the World Cup in 2010 – six years after ending a relatively unsuccessful stint at Manchester United.

To accurately predict who might win the Golden Ball at this year’s World Cup, take a look at the previous winners in our table below. We’ve noted the year and country of each winner to help demonstrate patterns. For example, five of the previous 10 winners have been South American. And there’s only ever been one goalkeeper to be awarded the Golden Ball at a World Cup to date.

Here are the previous Golden Ball World Cup winners:

YearGolden Ball WinnerNationality
2018Luka ModrićCroatia
2014Lionel MessiArgentina
2010Diego ForlánUruguay
2006Zinedine ZidaneFrance
2002Oliver KahnGermany
1998RonaldoBrazil
1994RomárioBrazil
1990Salvatore SchillaciItaly
1986Diego MaradonaArgentina
1982Paolo RossiItaly

Ready to Bet on the World Cup Golden Ball?

Now that you know what the Golden Ball is, how the format works, and which players we’re tipping to lift the award at the World Cup 2022, you’re all set to place your bets.

If you want to find the most competitive odds currently available, we recommend you use one of the World Cup betting sites listed below. For each one, our experts have compared the latest odds on players to win the Golden Ball, whilst also factoring in welcome bonuses and other promotions which could affect the outcome. In short, these are the best value betting sites for this market.

Here are the top betting sites for Golden Ball World Cup betting:

1
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FAQs

Two names who are ever-present when discussing the best players in World Cup history are Pelé and Maradona: two South American greats, and the latter a Golden Ball winner. More recently, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have been added to the debate – though neither has yet lifted the coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy. There is no conclusive answer, but these four names are the closest you’ll come.

The best football player in the World Cup will receive the Golden Ball award. Our guide breaks down everything you need to know about the Golden Ball, including our top five tips to win it: Mbappe, Kane, Benzema, Ronaldo and de Bruyne. When considering who will win it, it’s also important to consider nationality. Teams like France are likely to go further, boosting their players’ chances of winning the award.

The FIFA World Cup is held every four years, with the last event being held in 2018 – when Luka Modrić captured the prize. There was no World Cup in 2020, but Euro 2020 was held in 2021 (due to pandemic-related delays). Following that tournament, Italy’s Jorginho won the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year. Again, this is evidence that a strong run to the final can help a player’s chances of winning the award.

To date, no player has managed to win the Golden Ball twice. Brazilian Ronaldo came close to achieving that magnificent feat in back-to-back World Cups, winning the Golden Ball at France ’98 and then narrowly missing out in 2002, where he instead won the Silver Ball. Lionel Messi is one player who will be hopeful of becoming the first player to ever win two Golden Balls, with one already under his belt.

A man of the match award is given out after every single game at the World Cup, including group games and knockout games, even if nobody plays particularly well. This is standard practice at matches in leagues and competitions all around the world. The player of the series is instead awarded the Golden Ball. This is a much tougher accomplishment, as only one winner is selected from every participant in the World Cup competition.

No World Cup took place in 2021, although it’s easy to see why there is some confusion. The 2020 Euro competition was delayed until 2021 due to issues surrounding the pandemic. On top of that, the Word Cup – traditionally held around June and July – has been moved to November and December. This is partly because the tournament is being held in Qatar, which has exceedingly hot temperatures in June and July.

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