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2022 World Cup Golden Ball Winner: Odds Favor Messi Over Mbappe

Golden Ball Winner Betting Analysis

Winning the most prestigious individual award in the tournament is something that football players only dream of. But who has the best chance of winning the Golden Ball this year? Find the best 2022 World Cup props and bonuses in our sportsbook.

Let’s check the latest World Cup picks, stats, injury reports, and World Cup predictions. We’ve plenty of World Cup expert picks for you to consider.

Argentina's forward #10 Lionel Messi reacts after forward #09 Julian Alvarez scored his team's third goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup football semi-final match between Argentina and Croatia at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 13, 202
Lionel Messi / juan mabromata / afp

Leo Messi – Argentina (-500)

Introduced in 1982, the Golden Ball is a trophy offered to the most complex player during a World Cup. It’s not measured by who scored or assisted the most but rather by whose influence helped the squad win the trophy or at least reach the final.

Leo Messi won the Golden Ball at the 2014 World Cup when Argentina lost to Germany in the final. He scored four goals in that tournament. Eight years later, Messi is deservedly the strong favorite to be crowned the tournament’s best player ahead of Sunday’s final match.

Argentina destroyed Croatia 3-0 on Tuesday to book their spot in the showpiece event at the Lusail Iconic Stadium. Messi was in top shape, scoring the first goal of the match from the penalty spot before providing a sensational assist for Julian Alvarez to ensure victory in the second half. Messi is not quite as good as he was at his peak, but he remains a world-class dribbler, assister, and scorer.

Experts are saying that this is the best individual World Cup performance in the history of the tournament. The Paris Saint-Germain superstar has been ever-present for his country in Qatar. Lionel Messi is going to win the Golden Ball whether or not Argentina secures the World Cup gold, but he is priced at -500 with the latest soccer odds, so there’s no value backing him.

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Kylian Mbappe – France (+450)

Mbappe has been brilliant at this tournament. His amazing brace against Poland remains the highlight of his campaign, but France’s forward has made a positive impression in each of his appearances at what is only his second World Cup.

However, his odds have fallen to +450 in the Golden Ball market, mainly due to timing. In the quarter-finals and semi-finals, Messi outshined Mbappe. Doing business in the latter stages of the competition is always more important than performances in the group phase.

Kylian Mbappe’s pace is extraordinary, and you can’t allow yourself to not go the extra mile in containing him. The fact that Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud are performing so well and are still in the race for the Golden Ball is thanks to Mbappe’s contribution. Even when he doesn’t score or provide assists, he helps France with his positioning, eagerness, fighting spirit, and the fact that he engages so many of the defenders to follow him. To learn more about the match between River Plate vs Union Santa Fe in the Argentina Liga Profesional.

Antoine Griezmann – France (+800)

The leader in Didier Deschamps’ lineup is Antoine Griezmann. Playing in a more withdrawn role, the Atletico Madrid man has done a bit of everything at this tournament. He has been magnificent for the defending champions, who seek to become only the third nation in World Cup history to win back-to-back editions.

He won the man-of-the-match award against Morocco for his outstanding contribution. Sure, he didn’t score versus Walid Regragui’s boys, but his positioning and passing were a joy to behold. He and Lionel Messi are at the top of the creative charts. Both of them have three assists and it’s a huge honor for Antoine Griezmann to compete with the legendary Argentine. He is definitely the underdog in this race, but if France wins the trophy and he offers another solid performance, he might have a chance to win the Golden Ball award.

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