World Cup 2018 Golden Ball Winners Prediction

Top 5 Golden Ball Contenders for FIFA World Cup 2018 with Their Betting Odds

With the FIFA World Cup 2018 being round the corner, we all can already sense a lot of hyped discussions in the air regarding the following - Which country will win the World Cup 2018, Who will be the Golden Ball and Golden Boot winners, Who'll be the Top-Scorer and even discussions like Which country will boycott the tournament? 

Undoubtedly the entire globe is struck with the football fever and can't wait to watch their favorite players perform in Russia, this summer. But speaking from a player's angle, apart from the 'Dream' trophy, hundreds of players are prepping up to rub their hands on individual titles; and one such major title being – Golden Ball, which is awarded to the best player of the tournament. 

Who will win the FIFA World Cup 2018 Golden Ball? 

Out of the last five Golden Ball Awards, only two were won by a player from the tournament's winning team. Thus, the mystery of “Who will be the Golden Ball winner in FIFA World Cup 2018” cannot be unriddled simply by picking the best player from the most favorite team of the tournament. You need to delve deeper into teams and players' history which can be quite time consuming and baffling. Therefore, the team of Football Experts decided to ease it down for you by furnishing you with this one-stop Golden Ball betting guide for the World Cup 2018. 

1. Lionel Messi (Argentina)

One of the Greatest Footballer of all Time

Skills – Finishing, Positioning, Quick Reactions & Ability to make attacking runs

Lionel Messi has surely engraved his name in the history of football by achieving many record-tying awards and prestigious honors. To begin with, he is the five time Ballon d'Or winner, the only player with two Golden Ball Awards in FIFA World Cup and the five time European Golden Shoes winner. He has also won 32 trophies which include nine La Liga titles, four UEFA Champions League titles and six Copas del Rey titles. With over 600 senior career goals for Barcelona club and the Argentine national team, Messi has got a massive list of achievements. 

Despite of so many achievements, award-winning titles and a huge fan following base, many football fanatics believe that Pele and Maradona were better players as both of them successfully got the World Cup trophy back home during their careers but Messi is yet to win the Cup for his nation. Since Russia could be Messi's last ever World Cup, he himself is desperate enough to get his hands on the trophy, which almost slipped by an inch in Brazil four years ago. 

Lionel messi betting odds for golden ball winner as per the leading sportsbook

888Sports 7/1
bet365 8/1
Ladbrokes 17/2
William Hill 7/1

2. Neymar Jr. (Brazil)

The Most Expensive Footballer at Present

Skills – Dribbling, Finishing and Ability with both feet

Four years back, Neymar's fairytale was supposed to have an ending like “A 26 year old Brazilian footballer leads to the first World Cup win at home”, but an injury amidst the tournament left us all on a cliffhanger. The FIFA World Cup has yet again brought him a golden opportunity to re-write the ending of his fairytale. 

Neymar has been in the Brazil line up since the year 2010 and by scoring 53 goals in 83 matches he has become the fourth-highest goalscorer for his national team. Brazil has been heavily reliant on Neymar and the flashy winger is expected to give a kick-ass start to the World Cup campaign on the June 17th against Switzerland. 

Neymar Betting Odds for Golden Ball Winner as per the Leading Sportsbook

888Sports 6/1
bet365 8/1
Ladbrokes 8/2
William Hill 8/1

3. Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)

The Nucleus of French Squad

Skills – Accurate and Quality finishing with either foot from both inside and outside the area 

Going back into the history and speaking of FIFA World Cup 2014, France was nowhere in the the favourite list but the team had a decent tournament and ended up in quarter-finals, where it lost to the ultimate winner Germany. Antoine Griezmann was one of the notable performers and ever since then, the supporters of Frenchmen have quite a lot of expectations from the young forward. Living up to the expectations, Griezmann has already started the season 2017-18 at a high note by scoring 29 goals in all competitions.

The best performance of Griezmann's career so far has been during the Euro 2016 football tournament wherein, by scoring a total of six goals during the tournament, he received the Golden Boot along with the Player of the Tournament award. If Griezmann continues performing in this form then France will be invincible in the upcoming World Cup.

Antoine Griezmann Betting Odds for Golden Boot Winner

888Sports 17/1
bet365 12/1
Ladbrokes 12/2
William Hill 16/1

4. Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

One of the Best Footballer of all Time 

Skills – Quick Reactions, Finishing, Ball Control and Dribbling 

The history of football is incomplete without the mention of Ronaldo and Messi's contribution towards the game and watching the duo play at the World Cup for the last time will surely keep us all on the edge of the seat. The record-tying five Ballon d'Or winner, Ronaldo has a long-list of achievements and honors. The player has given a sensational performance for both the club and the nation. 

There is no denying that Ronaldo is a big shot in the game of football / soccer, but has not been able to win any World Cup trophy so far. Most likely this is going to be Ronaldo's last World Cup and the player has already kick-started the year 2018 by scoring 30 goals for Real Madrid and the Portugal national team. 

Cristiano Ronaldo Betting Odds for Golden Boot Winner

888Sports 11/1
bet365 16/1
Ladbrokes 16/1
William Hill 12/1

5. Kevin De Bruyne (Belgium)

The Focal Point of Manchester City Club 

Skills – Cross-Attacking and Ball Control 

As a key player of Manchester City Club, Bruyne's contribution was huge in breaking almost every record on the way to winning the Premiere League Title. After being the runner-up of PFA Player of the Year award and missing it almost by an inch, Bruyne is all geared up to become Belgium’s first ever Golden Ball recipient.

Kevin De Bruyne Betting Odds for Golden Boot Winner

888Sports 20/1
bet365 16/1
Ladbrokes 25/1
William Hill 20/1

Previous World Cup Golden Ball Winners List

Tournament Golden Ball Winners
FIFA World Cup 2014 Lionel Messi (Argentina)
FIFA World Cup 2010 Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
FIFA World Cup 2006 Zinedine Zidane (France)
FIFA World Cup 2002 Oliver Kahn (Germany)
FIFA World Cup 1998 Cristiano Ronaldo (Brazil)

Fun Facts about the Golden Ball

Who has the most Golden Ball? 

Lionel Messi is the only player to have won more than one FIFA Club World Cup Golden Ball. He has two FIFA Club World Cup Golden Balls and in total he possesses 5 Golden Balls, 4 Silver Balls and 1 Bronze Ball. 

What is the value of the Golden Ball? 

In 2006, the melt value of the gold in the trophy was estimated around $96,000 and in 2010, it was estimated nearly around $188,000. However, the value of the Golden Ball is much more than just the melt value. In 1971, it was created for about $50,000 and at present it is worth around $10 million. Nonetheless, the monetary value of the trophy holds minimal significance in comparison to the emotional aspect.

FIFA World Cup Awards

Hundreds of players will line up in Russia this summer to get their hands on the dream trophy 'FIFA World Cup 2018', however not every player's dream will come true as only one team gets to be lucky. But many other individual titles await in Russia, some of which include the following:

Golden Ball Award

This award is presented to the best player of the tourney and was first awarded in 1982. 

Golden Boot Award

Top goal-scorer of the tournament gets to rub his hands on this title and this title was first awarded in 1982

Golden Glove Award

The best goalkeeper is awarded with this title and it was first awarded in 1994. 

FIFA Fair Play Award

The team which advances to the second round with the best record of fair play is awarded with FIFA Fair Play Trophy. It was first awarded in 1970.

Disclaimer

Most bookmakers will start changing their odds as the tournament progresses from June 14th.

Who will win 2018 World Cup Golden Ball?

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