The award is handed to the best player at the tournament

Several awards at handed out at the end of every World Cup edition, alongside the prestigious World Cup trophy presented to the winning side. The Golden Ball is handed to the best player of that World Cup edition. While the Golden Boot is presented to the top scorer at the tournament. The Golden Glove Award is presented to the best goalkeeper at the tournament. The Best Young Player award is handed to the best U-21 player at the tournament. FIFA Fair Play Trophy, Goal of the Tournament and Most Entertaining Team awards are also handed out.

The best player of the tournament award has been handed out since the first edition of the World Cup. But the award was renamed and rebranded as the Golden Ball award. It was first awarded in 1982. It is currently called the ‘Adidas Golden Ball’. Here is the list of all the World Cup Golden Ball winners.

World Cup Golden Ball winners

  • 1930 – José Nasazzi (Uruguay)
  • 1934 – Giuseppe Meazza (Italy)
  • 1938 – Leonidas da Silva (Brazil)
  • 1950 – Zizinho (Brazil)
  • 1954 – Ferenc Puskas (Hungary)
  • 1958 – Didí (Brazil)
  • 1962 – Garrincha (Brazil)
  • 1966 – Bobby Charlton (England)
  • 1970 – Pelé (Brazil)
  • 1974 – Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)
  • 1982 – Paolo Rossi (Italy)
  • 1986 – Diego Maradona (Argentina)
  • 1990 – Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)
  • 1994 – Romário (Brazil)
  • 1998 – Ronaldo (Brazil)
  • 2002 – Oliver Kahn (Germany)
  • 2006 – Zinedine Zidane (France)
  • 2010 – Diego Forlán (Uruguay)
  • 2014 – Lionel Messi (Argentina)
  • 2018 – Luka Modrić (Croatia)

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