Home » Football » World Cup Betting » World Cup Golden Ball Betting

World Cup Golden Ball Odds & Betting Guide

Welcome to our World Cup Golden Ball betting guide, where we cover everything you need to know about betting on the player of the tournament award. Our guide includes an overview of the prestigious FIFA award, the latest World Cup Golden Ball odds, expert tips to help you predict the winner, and much more.

Where to Bet on the World Cup Golden Ball

4.57/5
Rated by 413 users
Claimed by 742 people this week
100% Up To $1000
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
Show More Details Show Less Details

Payment Options

Bitcoin
BitcoinCash
Master Card
Person to Person
VISA

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • LTC
  • USD
  • Generous bonuses and promotions
  • Great range of betting markets
  • Extensive racebook
  • Very good customer service
  • Only a few withdrawal options
  • Fees for withdrawing funds
4.62/5
Rated by 413 users
Claimed by 638 people this week
100% Up to $1000 + $25 casino chip
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
Show More Details Show Less Details

Payment Options

VISA
Master Card
Bitcoin

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • BTC
  • Trusted by publications such as ESPN
  • Access a dedicated racing section
  • Crypto-friendly sportsbook
  • Adjust odds format and time zone
  • Support options include call back
  • Quite low sportsbook limits
4.5/5
Rated by 413 users
Claimed by 512 people this week
50% Up To $1000
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
Show More Details Show Less Details

Payment Options

Bank Wire
Bitcoin
Cheque
Discover
Master Card
Neteller
Skrill
+1

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • USD
  • Accepts players from all over the world
  • Known for their live betting offers
  • Lots of secure banking options
  • Great bonuses and promotions
  • High fees for some deposit options
  • Support agents are often slow to reply
4.5/5
Rated by 313 users
Claimed by 557 people this week
50% Up to $250
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
Show More Details Show Less Details

Payment Options

Amex
Bitcoin
Master Card
Rapidtransfer
VISA

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • BTC
  • Top-rated US online sportsbook
  • Mobile site for iOS and Android users
  • Diverse range of betting markets
  • Excellent customer support options
  • Lines come out very late in the day
  • Odds not as favorable as other books
4.5/5
Rated by 232 users
Claimed by 430 people this week
15% up to $600
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply
Show More Details Show Less Details

Payment Options

Amex
Bank Wire
Bitcoin
Cheque
Master Card
Neteller
VISA

Average Payout Speed

0 – 24 Hours

Currencies

  • BPS
  • CAD
  • EUR
  • Popular book that accepts large max bets
  • Huge focus on football and basketball
  • High-spec live in-play platform available
  • Downloadable client for Windows & Mac
  • Odds are not amazing on non-US sports
  • User interface could be improved

What Is the World Cup Golden Ball?

The Golden Ball is an award presented to the standout player following the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup finals – the group stages and knockouts of the World Cup, not the qualifying stage.

It was first introduced in 1982, the same year the Golden Shoe was rebranded as the Golden Boot award, as it is known today. At the same time, the Silver Ball and Bronze Ball were introduced, awarded to the players who finish in second and third place respectively.

The award is voted for by the media, and previous winners include illustrious names such as Lionel Messi and Zinedine Zidane.

Golden Ball v Golden Boot: What’s The Difference?

The Golden Boot and Golden Ball are both FIFA World Cup awards, but the criteria for each one is different.

The Golden Boot is awarded to the player who scores the most World Cup goals. The most recent winner of the Golden Boot was England’s Harry Kane, who scored six goals at the Russia 2018 World Cup.

By contrast, the Golden Ball is decided by a team of experts. A shortlist of the best players is created by a FIFA technical committee, which is supposedly based only on their performances at that particular World Cup. After that, selected members of the media are allowed to vote for their winner.

2022 World Cup Best Player Betting: Favourites & Odds

Unfortunately, not all betting sites offer World Cup Golden Ball odds. However, many major online bookmakers cover the market, and the list will continue to grow as the start of the tournament nears. Getting your bets in early could be a smart idea, as it will only take one man-of-the-match performance for a player’s World Cup Golden Ball odds betting to shorten.

It’s worth noting that there have been some controversial decisions over the years. Lionel Messi won the award in 2014 after a rather flat final in which Argentina lost to Germany, with then-FIFA President Sepp Blatter later labelling the decision ‘incorrect’. Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on players who could be seen as perpetual favourites when betting on World Cup Golden Ball.

Here’s the latest World Cup Golden Ball odds for the top 15 favourites, courtesy of bet365:

PlayerTeamOdds
Kylian MbappéFrance10/1
Lionel MessiArgentina12/1
Kevin De BruyneBelgium14/1
NeymarBrazil14/1
Harry KaneEngland14/1
Jose Vinicius JuniorBrazil16/1
Cristiano RonaldoPortugal16/1
RaphinhaBrazil25/1
RicharlisonBrazil33/1
Lautaro MartinezArgentina40/1
Romelu LukakuBelgium40/1
Raheem SterlingEngland40/1
Phil FodenEngland40/1
Antoine GriezmannFrance40/1

All odds correct at the time of publishing and are subject to change.

Our Picks to Win the 2022 World Cup Golden Ball

Now you know how the winner is determined and you’ve seen the latest World Cup Golden Ball odds, it’s time to discuss five of the favourites to win the award at Qatar 2022.

Kylian Mbappé (10/1)

Kylian Mbappé (10/1)

He may only be 23 years old, but Mbappé is already considered one of the best players in the game and heavily tipped to win the World Cup Golden Ball. Odds-wise, he’s the clear favourite. If he cleans up in the group stages, his goal tally could make the Golden Ball – and Golden Boot – a formality. Whether or not that happens remains to be seen, but he should certainly be in your thinking.

Lionel Messi (12/1)

Lionel Messi (12/1)

No player has ever won the World Cup Golden Ball twice. Odds suggest Messi could break that trend. The pint-sized Argentinian had a quiet 2021/22 season after leaving boyhood club Barcelona for PSG, but one sub-par year doesn’t underdo an entire career as one of the world’s greatest footballers. His Argentina side have a decent group and a strong team mentality, and they will be looking to go far at Qatar 2022.

Harry Kane (14/1)

Harry Kane (14/1)

As the winner of the Golden Boot at the most recent World Cup, Golden Ball odds are short for a man who looks certain to become England’s all-time top goal scorer. The Spurs striker has 51 goals in 75 games moving into the World Cup, and expectations on England are high after a strong World Cup 2018 and Euro 2020, even if their recent form has been questionable.

Neymar (14/1)

Neymar (14/1)

Now 30, Neymar is no longer the Brazilian kid with all the potential – he’s the finished article. The PSG forward seems ready to cement his legacy on the world stage, and what better way to do that than by winning the Golden Ball? Brazil are among the favourites and, if they go all the way, Neymar will be instrumental in their progress, both in terms of goals and overall contribution to the team.

Phil Foden (40/1)

Phil Foden (40/1)

Our experts have included a bit of a rogue shout for those of you searching for longer odds. If England manage to reach the semi-finals or beyond, there’s a good chance that Harry Kane will be their top goal scorer. But he’ll need someone to create scoring opportunities, and, in the absence of Spurs teammate Son Heung-min, Manchester City’s Phil Foden could be that man. At 40/1, Foden is a dark horse to collect the Golden Ball by pulling the strings for England if they go deep in the tournament.

Lionel Messi

Previous World Cup Golden Ball Winners

Looking back over the winners of the Golden Ball since it was established in 1982, there are some truly distinguished names on the list: Diego Maradona, Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Lionel Messi, and more. But none of them have won it twice. And only one goalkeeper – Germany’s Oliver Kahn – has won the award, as goalkeepers are usually awarded the Golden Glove instead.

Interestingly, there are indicators of players winning the Golden Ball then falling just short at the next tournament four years later. Ronaldo won the Golden Ball at France ’98, then the silver ball at South Korea/Japan World Cup 2002. And before that, Maradona captured the Golden Ball at Mexico 1986, then came third at Italia ’90.

Here’s a list of every Golden Ball winner at every World Cup, as well as all Silver Ball and Bronze Ball winners:

World CupGolden BallSilver BallBronze Ball
Russia 2018Luka ModrićEden HazardAntoine Griezmann
Brazil 2014Lionel MessiThomas MüllerArjen Robben
South Africa 2010Diego ForlánWesley SneijderDavid Villa
Germany 2006Zinedine ZidaneFabio CannavaroAndrea Pirlo
South Korea/Japan 2002Oliver KahnRonaldoHong Myung-bo
France 1998RonaldoDavor ŠukerLilian Thuram
USA 1994RomárioRoberto BaggioHristo Stoichkov
Italy 1990Salvatore SchillaciLothar MatthäusDiego Maradona
Mexico 1986Diego MaradonaHarald SchumacherPreben Elkjær
Spain 1982Paolo RossiFalcãoKarl-Heinz Rummenigge

Golden Ball Winners by Country

Our experts also analysed the previous Golden Ball winners based on the country they represent, to see if there were any patterns. Brazil might be the obvious assumption, but they actually came second to Italy, with Argentina placing third. If Messi were to win it, he’d not only be the first player to ever win the Golden Ball twice, but he’d also take Argentina to a record-breaking three Golden Balls in total.

CountryGolden BallsSilver BallsBronze BallsTotal Awards
Italy2215
Brazil2204
Argentina2013
Germany1315
Croatia1102
France1023
Uruguay1001
Netherlands0112
Belgium0101
Bulgaria0011
Denmark0011
South Korea0011
Spain0011
Cristiano Ronaldo

Bet on the World Cup Golden Ball

By now, you should have a thorough understanding of how the Golden Ball works and the favourites to win based on the latest 2022 World Cup Golden Ball odds.

Ready to bet on the best player at the 2022 World Cup? Compare the latest Golden Ball betting odds with our top-rated bookmaker.

Claimed by 742 people this week
Check Website
Terms and conditions: Terms and Conditions apply. – Terms apply

FAQs

Who won the Golden Ball award at the 2018 FIFA World Cup?

The most recent winner of the Golden Ball was Luka Modrić at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. He won the award after leading Croatia to the final, where they lost 4-2 to France.

Which player has the most Golden Ball awards?

No player has ever won the Golden Ball award twice, although Messi will hope to buck this trend at Qatar 2022. Ronaldo won the Golden Ball in 1998 then came second in 2002, which is the closest yet.

Who is the best player in World Cup history?

Just as there is seemingly no end to the debate of who is better out of Ronaldo and Messi, there is no definitive best player in World Cup history – though Maradona and Pelé are contenders.

Are Ballon d’Or and Golden Ball the same?

No. The Ballon d’Or is awarded annually to the player of the season, whereas the World Cup Golden Ball is specific to the World Cup, i.e. once every four years.

About the author

Eric Roberts
Eric Roberts

Sports Journalist

Eric has been a sports journalist for over 20 years and has travelled the world covering top sporting events for a number of publications. He also has a passion for betting and uses his in-depth knowledge of the sports world to pinpoint outstanding odds and value betting opportunities.