The 2022 FIFA World Cup will take place in Qatar next month with 32 top nations in world football fighting it out among themselves to see who gets crowned as the new champions of the world. This year’s World Cup will kick off on November 20 and end on December 18 with the final being held at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. With so many world-class players on show, all eyes will be on the Middle East where the competition is taking place for the first time in its history.
To mark the return of the prestigious FIFA tournament, let’s find out what the ‘golden ball’ trophy is all about.
What Is FIFA’s Golden Ball Award?
The top player in each FIFA World Cup finals tournament gets named the winner of the Golden Ball award. FIFA’s technical committee (Technical Study Group) is responsible for making the shortlist with the winner being chosen by various media representatives. The second-best footballer in each World Cup competition receives the Silver Ball and the third-best player secures the Bronze Ball award.
Back in the 1982 FIFA World Cup, which was sponsored by Adidas and France Football, FIFA officially started to hand out the Golden Ball award for the first time to the best player of the World Cup.
Here is a full list of all the past Golden Ball winners in World Cup history.
|World Cup||Winner||Runner-up||Third place|
|1930 Uruguay||José Nasazzi||Guillermo Stábile||José Leandro Andrade|
|1934 Italy||Giuseppe Meazza||Matthias Sindelar||Oldrich Nejedly|
|1938 France||Leonidas da Silva||Silvio Piola||György Sárosi|
|1950 Brazil||Zizinho||Juan Alberto Schiaffino||Obdulio Varela|
|1954 Switzerland||Ferenc Puskas||Sandor Kocsis||Fritz Walter|
|1958 Sweden||Didí||Pelé||Just Fontaine|
|1962 Chile||Garrincha||Josef Masopust||Leonel Sánchez|
|1966 England||Bobby Charlton||Bobby Moore||Eusébio|
|1970 México||Pelé||Gérson||Gerd Müller|
|1974 West Germany||Johan Cruyff||Franz Beckenbauer||Kazimierz Deyna|
And below is the official list of past Golden Ball winners since FIFA started giving out the trophy back in 1982.
|World Cup||Golden Ball||Silver Ball||Bronze Ball|
|1982 Spain||Paolo Rossi||Falcão||Karl-Heinz Rummenigge|
|1986 Mexico||Diego Maradona||Harald Schumacher||Preben Elkjær|
|1990 Italy||Salvatore Schillaci||Lothar Matthäus||Diego Maradona|
|1994 United States||Romário||Roberto Baggio||Hristo Stoichkov|
|1998 France||Ronaldo||Davor Šuker||Lilian Thuram|
|2002 South Korea/Japan||Oliver Kahn||Ronaldo||Hong Myung-bo|
|2006 Germany||Zinedine Zidane||Fabio Cannavaro||Andrea Pirlo|
|2010 South Africa||Diego Forlán||Wesley Sneijder||David Villa|
|2014 Brazil||Lionel Messi||Thomas Müller||Arjen Robben|
|2018 Russia||Luka Modrić||Eden Hazard||Antoine Griezmann|