Outright Odds

World Cup Golden Ball: Best player and most assists for Qatar 2022

By Harry Edwards

World Cup Golden Ball odds: Outright odds for 2022 best player

Published: 8:30, 19 December 2022

Argentina and France contested the World Cup final on Sunday with Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann hoping to inspire their nations to glory.

Pre-tournament, a lot of players will have been eyeing up the Golden Boot — the award for the most goals scored — as it will often boost their teams chances of winning the World Cup. But thankfully there are others ways of recognising the best players, that doesn’t just look at goalscorers.

The World Cup Golden Ball award was first officially introduced in 1982 for the World Cup in Spain, after an unofficial Golden Ball was awarded to Mario Kempes in 1978. The first official winner of the Golden ball was Paolo Rossi as he helped guide Italy to their third World Cup crown, beating West Germany in the final. Since Rossi’s win, nine other players have won the Golden Ball, with no player winning it more than once.

2022 World Cup Golden Ball pre-tournament favourites

Player Midnite odds
Lionel Messi 7/1
Kylian Mbappe 10/1
Neymar 10/1
Kevin De Bruyne 12/1
Karim Benzema 12/1
Harry Kane 17/1
Vinicius Jr 20/1
Cristiano Ronaldo 25/1
Raphinha 25/1
Lautaro Martinez 33/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (21:00, 16/11/2022).BeGambleAware.

Rossi is also one of just two players to win the official Golden Ball as well as the Golden Boot at the same World Cup, topscoring in 1982 with three goals. Another Italian, Salvatore Schillaci is the only other player to achieve the feat with the Golden Ball in 1990 and the Golden Boot (six goals) but his side only finished third. It is worth noting that Kempes, the winner of the unofficial Golden Ball in 1978 was also top scorer with six goals to help hosts Argentina win the World Cup.

In 2018 Luka Modric was the Golden Ball winner as he inspired Croatia to a silver medal, pipping Eden Hazard to the post; Antoine Griezmann completed the top three taking home the Bronze Ball. Modric had a chance to become the first player to win two Golden Balls, but despite a good tournament he fell short, with 2014 winner Lionel Messi claiming his second crown after leading Argentina to World Cup glory.

Another thing to look at for the Golden Ball is how creative a player is, with assists also important for helping teams win the World Cup. Currently leading the way for assists at the 2022 World Cup are Antoine Griezmann, Bruno Fernandes, Harry Kane and now Messi after his exploits in the semi-final. Two remain in the competition and it’s fitting that Griezmann or Messi could provide the assist to win the World Cup for their respective nations.

2022 World Cup assist leaders


Position Player Assists xA Minutes Played
1st Bruno Fernandes 3 1.22 357
2nd Harry Kane 3 0.65 404
3rd  Antoine Griezmann 3 3.54 537
4th Ivan Perisic 3 0.55 670
5th Lionel Messi 3 1.89 690
6th Marcus Thuram 2 0.11 147
7th Mislav Orsic 2 0.63 160
8th Davy Klaassen 2 0.06 191
9th Andrija Zivkovic 2 0.82 213
10th Dusan Tadic 2 1.07 258

Players with the same amount of assists are ranked by fewer minutes played. Stats correct as of 08:30, 19/12/22.