Following the conclusion of the 2022 World Cup which crowned Argentina who beat France on penalties to win the Cup for the third time in their history, FIFA have announced the list of team and individual winners following the culmination of the tournament.
The team awards followed their eventual placing in the tournament, with Argentina finishing first ahead of France, courtesy of their penalty shoot-out victory. Croatia finished third ahead of Morocco, following their victory in the third-placed match between the two teams.
Meanwhile England, despite their exit at the quarter-final stage, took home the Fair Play award in recognition of the fact that they only received one yellow card – awarded to Harry Maguire in the defeat to France – in the course of the tournament.
Not surprisingly the Golden Ball, awarded to the Best Player in the Tournament, was awarded to the Argentine captain, Lionel Messi, but at the age of 35, he finally got his hands on the trophy that he had wanted above all others.
He had more than played his part in getting them to the final in the first place, helping them recover from a shock opening game defeat to Saudi Arabia to top their group. And then he had scored a goal and provided an assist in each of the knock-out games before scoring twice in the final itself.
That brought his goal tally to the tournament to seven, which made him the second-highest scorer, and he was also awarded the Silver Boot for that feat.
He has now moved to joint-fourth with Just Fontaine of France in terms of goals scored in World Cups, although the Frenchman scored his 13 in one tournament, in 1958.
By playing in the final, Messi also broke the World Cup appearance record, previously held by Lothar Matteus of Germany, who appeared for his country 25 times in various finals.
Mbappe won the Silver Ball while the Bronze Ball went to Luka Modric.
He was pipped to the honour of the Golden Boot, bestowed on the top scorer in the competition, by Kylian Mbappé, who scored eight goals whilst in Qatar, including three in the final itself.
That made him the first man since Geoff Hurst to score three goals in a World Cup final – but, unlike Hurst, his efforts were not enough for him to finish on the winning side. Mbappé though has overtaken Hurst in terms of the number of goals scored in World Cup finals with four.
However, at the age of 23, he is now just four short of Miroslav Klose’s all-time top scorer record in World Cups with 16 goals, and, if he can stay fit and France keep qualifying for major tournaments, he will surely beat that before he retires.
The Bronze Boot for the third-highest scorer in the tournament went to his French team-mate Olivier Giroud. Originally destined for a bit part role in Qatar, injury to others meant that he was given his chance, and he responded by scoring four times, and in the process, broke the record of Thierry Henry to become France’s all-time top scorer.
Emi Martínez of Argentina won the Golden Glove award given to the best goalkeeper in Qatar. Dominik Livaković of Croatia and Yassine Bounou of Morocco provided stiff competition in this category, but Martínez edged them because he saved three penalties in their bad-tempered quarter-final win over the Netherlands, and then he saved the effort from Kingsley Coman in the final shoot-out against France.
Martínez has become something of an expert when it comes to saving penalties, having helped Argentina beat Brazil by the same method in the final of the Copa América last year.
Best Young Player
The third Argentine to win a major award was central midfielder Enzo Fernández, who was named the Best Young Player at the tournament (given to those who are aged 21 years old and younger). He played in all seven matches in Qatar and finished the tournament with one goal and one assist, but his contribution to their overall victory went far beyond that.
Currently playing in Portugal with Benfica, he could well attract interest from some of the major European clubs when the transfer window opens.
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