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World Cup 2022 Golden Ball Odds: Lionel Messi favourite ahead of Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann

Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann in contention in the Golden Ball odds
Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, and Antoine Griezmann in contention in the Golden Ball odds

The World Cup trophy is not the only award up for grabs this weekend, as selected players are also in contention to win individual accolades in Qatar.

We've already run through the candidates to win the Golden Boot and Golden Glove honours, now it's time to see whose trophy cabinet the Golden Ball gong will end up in.

It's a prized award that is given to the best player at the World Cup, so it's perhaps no surprise to see that a couple of the world's best players are in contention...

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Lionel Messi

We'll start with the red-hot 1/5 favourite, Lionel Messi, who is bidding to win the World Cup Golden Ball award for the second time in his career.

Messi triumphed in this category back in 2014, despite ending up on the losing side in the Final. Fast-foward eight years and he'll be absolutely determined to inspire Argentina to victory against France on Sunday.

His performances in Qatar so far have been dazzling, highlighted brilliantly in the semi-final when he scored the opening goal then turned the Croatia defence inside-out to assist Julian Alvarez for the second.

Messi is the joint-top goalscorer with five goals alongside Kylian Mbappe, while no player has amassed more assists to date than his tally of three (tied with three other players).

In truth, it's extremely difficult to look past Messi for the Golden Ball, even if he ends up on the losing side on Sunday. However, France do possess their own superstars that are fully capable of conjuring up something spectacular in the showpiece spectacular...

Argentina vs France Match Odds

Kylian Mbappe

Lionel Messi's main challenger, according to the odds, is his club teammate Kylian Mbappe who is a best-priced 5/1 with Boylesports to win the Golden Ball.

Like Messi, Mbappe has tabled five goals and three assists at the World Cup so far, tallies he'll be gunning to enhance against Argentina.

The highlight to date was arguably his brilliant brace in the 3-1 win over Poland in the last-16. He hasn't scored since, against England or Morocco, but in the semi-final win he terrorised the tournament's best defence throughout with his pace and panache, and played a fundamental role in his side's second goal.

He's likely going to need to outperform Messi in the Final to have any chance of scooping the award, but make no mistake about it, he has all the tools in his armoury to put in a scintilating performance at the Lusail Stadium.

Antoine Griezmann

What a tournament he's had. 

The fact that Antoine Griezmann has yet to score - this could change - could somewhat hinder his chances, especially when he's up against superstars Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe who have five goals apiece.

However, his contribution to France's journey to a consecutive final has been pivotal in his reinvented midfield role; swapping goals for assists (three) and showcasing other skills such as his game intelligence, work-rate, and ability to win the ball back for his team.

Griezmann, who received the Bronze Ball in Russia four years ago, oozed class in France's 2-1 defeat of England during which he set up both goals, including a sumptuous cross for Giroud's winner.

At 10/1 for the Golden Ball with a number of outlets - see below - he definitely can't be written off.

100/1 Outsiders for Golden Ball Glory

If you're after a few 100/1 outsiders than look no further than Olivier Giroud, Enzo Fernandez, and Yassine Bounou who are all three-figure prices to shock the top contenders to win the Golden Ball.

Giroud has enjoyed a terrific tournament, bagging four goals which has subsequently propelled him past Thierry Henry to become his country's record-breaking top scorer. Only Messi and Mbappe have more goals to their name in Qatar, but Giroud will feel he has a significant part to play on Sunday.

Argentina's Enzo Fernandez appears to be a shoe-in for the FIFA Young Player Award at 1/3 with Betfair, ahead of Josko Gvardiol and Jude Bellingham, but could he double up and land the top honour too?

Yassine Bounou, unfortunately, won't be appearing in the Final but his performances in between the sticks have been superb and he does at least have one last chance to shine on Saturday as Morocco bid to win the third place play off. The Moroccan keeper has four clean sheets to his name and up until the 2-0 defeat to France he hadn't conceded a goal from an opposition player. 

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