World Cup 2022 Golden Ball odds & predictions
Barcelona feature in our latest European football tips

World Cup 2022 Golden Ball odds & predictions

Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi are dominating the World Cup 2022 Golden Ball odds after being the stand-out performers in Qatar so far.

In a battle of the ages, 23-year-old France superstar Mbappe is 11/10 after scoring five goals to lead the race for Golden Boot glory.

The PSG flyer got off the mark in a 4-1 win over Australia and bagged doubles as Denmark were defeated 2-1 and Poland were beaten 3-1.

Mbappe has picked up three man-of-the-match awards and Aston Villa’s Matty Cash was one of the full-backs run ragged by his scorching pace.

“I spent the afternoon watching his clips and I knew it was going to be a tough test, but when he gets the ball, stops and moves, he’s the quickest thing I’ve ever seen,” said the Poland defender.

“I’m watching the videos while lying in bed. In real life, he’s burning my legs – that’s the difference. It’s a massive difference.

“When he stands you up and moves, he does it really well. He drops the shoulder, goes short and then long.

“I didn’t know whether to drop off or go tight and when I went tight, he just spun in behind. I did everything I could.

“When it was one versus one, I thought I’d done OK, but there were times where he got space on the counter-attack, which is where he scored the second goal, and that’s where he hurts teams,” quotes The Guardian.

Messi on a mission

Messi, who won this award in 2014 and is 6/5 to get the vote again, has also secured a trio of MVP gongs in inspiring Argentina to recover from a shock opening loss to Saudi Arabia in their pool.

The 35-year-old got the ball rolling by breaking the deadlock in a 2-0 triumph over Mexico and was also on target in wins over Australia and Netherlands during the knockout rounds.

An army of La Albiceleste fans have flocked to the Middle East to support Messi in his quest for glory at his last World Cup.

Argentina also feel like one of the neutrals’ favourites in Qatar thanks to the pull of the seven-time Ballon d’Or hero, who is a club teammate of Mbappe back in Paris.

Former Argentina full-back Pablo Zabaleta, who played alongside Messi in the 2014 World Cup final loss to Germany, commented: “It’s like being in Buenos Aires.

“It’s something that, to be honest, I’m very surprised about because Qatar is far from Argentina. It’s not easy to get here and it costs a lot of money in flights, accommodation.

“But I think it’s because of the momentum of the team before the World Cup; winning the Copa America, 36 games unbeaten, expectation was really high – and probably Messi’s last World Cup as well.

“People just want to come and enjoy probably the last few games of Messi in a World Cup.

“I think I can see that Messi is enjoying every single minute of it.

“The fans and everyone back in Argentina are showing so much love for Messi and it would be brilliant to see Messi going into the World Cup final again,” said the BBC pundit.

A short-list of candidates for this award is drawn up by the FIFA technical committee, with the winner then voted for by representatives of the media.

Croatia playmaker Luka Modric topped the polls in Russia four years ago and is 16/1 for a repeat success in the World Cup 2022 Golden Ball odds, while France forward Antoine Griezmann can be backed at 20/1.

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