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World Cup Golden Ball, what is the award, winners list and how is it decided?

Leo Messi was the latest player to scoop the Golden Ball award at the Qatar World Cup following his role in the Albiceleste being crowned champions.

LUSAIL CITY, QATAR - DECEMBER 18: Lionel Messi of Argentina carries the 'Golden Ball' Player of the Tournament trophy during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Alex Livesey - Danehouse/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey - DanehouseGetty

Sunday’s drama at Lusail Stadium delivered two awards for Lionel Messi with the striker adding the World Cup Golden Ball to his World Cup winners medal and becoming the first player to win the FIFA award twice.

Messi, who steered La Albiceleste to their first world title since 1986, scored a double in an spellbinding classic that finished 3-3 after extra time, before scoring in a shoot-out that Argentina won 4-2 to make history in Doha.

Having been named the Golden Ball winner eight years ago at Brazil 2014, when Argentina were edged by Germany in the final, the 35-year-old twice looked poised for heartbreak again after Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick.

World Cup Golden Ball, what is the award, winners list and how is it decided?
L. Messi
  • PSG
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  • Argentina

Golden Ball award

First introduced in 1982 at the Spain World Cup, the Golden Ball award is presented to the FIFA World Cup tournament’s best player and is decided by the FIFA Technical Study Group, who compile a shortlist in conjunction with members of the international media, votes are the cast based on the players in the shortlist.

Italy’s Paulo Rossi scooped the first award with some of the greats of the game over the years such as Maradona. Zidane, Ronaldo and Modric all past winners.

Argentina's Diego Maradona,
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Argentina's Diego Maradona,CARLO FUMAGALLIAP

Golden Ball winners

2022 - Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2018 - Luka Modric (Croatia)

2014 - Lionel Messi (Argentina)

2010 - Diego Forlan (Uruguay)

2006 - Zinedine Zidane (France)

2002 - Oliver Kahn (Germany)

1998 - Ronaldo (Brazil)

1994 - Romario (Brazil)

1990 - Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)

1986 - Diego Maradona (Argentina)

1982 -Paolo Rossi (Italy)