2022 World Cup awards: Best XI, Golden Ball, Golden Boot, Top Moments
Who will make FIFA’s Best XI of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and who took home the major individual awards and trophies?
At long last, Lionel Messi secured his legacy by leading Argentina to its first World Cup trophy in 36 years on Sunday, and the newly crowned world champion cleaned up at the awards as well.
Here are the 2022 World Cup awards that have been confirmed thus far, with Best XI selections still to come…
2022 World Cup award winners
Golden Ball, Silver Ball, Bronze Ball winners
Golden Ball (best player): Lionel Messi, Argentina
Silver Ball: Kylian Mbappe, France
Bronze Ball: Luka Modric, Croatia
Golden Boot, Silver Boot, Bronze winners
Golden Boot (top goalscorer): Kylian Mbappe, France
Silver Boot: Lionel Messi, Argentina
Bronze Boot: Olivier Giroud, France
Golden Glove winner
Emiliano Martinez, Argentina
Young Player Award winner
Enzo Fernandez, Argentina
Ahead of the final, the PST staff did its best to lay out honors from our exhausted World Cup writers Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards, and Nick Mendola.
Let’s dig into the finest of the last month in the Middle East.
Golden Ball, Silver Ball, Bronze Ball predictions
Joe Prince-Wright: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Sofyan Amrabat
Andy Edwards: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Dayot Upamecano
Nick Mendola: Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Emiliano Martinez
Best Goalkeeper + Why
Joe Prince-Wright: Hugo Lloris (France)
He’s stood tall when France needed him and led by example. Special mentions to Emi Martinez and Wojciech Szczesny too.
Andy Edwards: Dominik Livakovic (Croatia)
He made massive saves in regular time and extra time, preventing the most goals (FBRef) of any goalkeeper at this World Cup, as well as multiple penalty shootouts. No one came up bigger, and more often.
Nick Mendola: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina)
What Andy said about Livakovic is so true and he was going to be my man... right up until the very end end of the final. The Aston Villa man denied Kolo Muani at the end of extra time and then made a huge save in spot kicks.
Young Player Award
Joe Prince-Wright: Jude Bellingham (England)
Andy Edwards: Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)
Nick Mendola: Josko Gvardiol (Croatia)
All-Star Team/Best XI
Joe Prince-Wright: Hugo Lloris (France); Achraf Hakimi (Morocco), Josko Gvardiol (Croatia), Romain Saiss (Morocco), Theo Hernandez (France); Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco), Jude Bellingham (England), Antoine Griezmann (France), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Kylian Mbappe (France), Olivier Giroud (France)
Andy Edwards: Dominik Livakovic (Croatia); Achraf Hakimi (Morocco), Josko Gvardiol (Croatia), Harry Maguire (England), Jurrien Timber (Netherlands); Adrien Rabiot (France), Mohammed Kudus (Ghana); Bruno Fernandes (Portugal), Antoine Griezmann (France), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Kylian Mbappe (France)
Nick Mendola: Emiliano Martinez (Argentina); Theo Hernandez (France), Josko Gvardiol (Croatia), Nicolas Otamendi (Argentina), Achraf Hakimi (Morocco), Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco), Enzo Fernandez (Argentina), Luka Modric (Croatia), Antoine Griezmann (France), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Kylian Mbappe (France).
Top Moment of the Tournament
Joe Prince-Wright: Morocco reaching the semifinals. History was made and their squad and Walid Regragui totally deserved it.
Andy Edwards: Netherlands’ set-piece equalizer against Argentina, 11th minute of stoppage time.
Nick Mendola: It’s Lionel Messi sneaking a kiss on his long-sought World Cup Trophy while walking past after collecting his Golden Ball... but a shout to Saudi Arabia’s early-morning upset of Argentina and Goncalo Ramos’ 67-minute hat trick after being put in the difficult spot of taking Cristiano Ronaldo’s starting spot for a knockout round game.
Biggest Failure of the Tournament
Joe Prince-Wright: Denmark. What on earth happened!?
Andy Edwards: Germany
Nick Mendola: Belgium. If the USMNT’s Golden Generation pulls something like this at the end -- should they stay golden, pony people -- I won’t leave the house for like a month.
Biggest Surprise of the Tournament
Joe Prince-Wright: Morocco. Nobody really saw it coming. What a fun run and they inspired so many around the world.
Andy Edwards: Morocco
Nick Mendola: Morocco.
Joe Prince-Wright: Tim Ream. The American Dream. Sure, Tyler Adams and Christian Pulisic were very good and led the midfield and attack respectively, but without Ream the USMNT would not have made the last 16. His influence on the entire defensive unit was immense and the USA made the knockout rounds because they were so solid in the group stage.
Andy Edwards: Tyler Adams.
Nick Mendola: Christian Pulisic. I know he missed the big chance early against Netherlands, but this kid has been under the spotlight almost from the moment he showed up but many others didn’t in Couva back in 2017. All he’s done when healthy is deliver despite -- as his commercial repeats -- “pressure pressure pressure pressure.” The brave goal against Iran. The sensational assist to set up Weah versus Wales. He delivered.
Grade the USMNT
Joe Prince-Wright: B-
Andy Edwards: B
Nick Mendola: B-. They were the second-ranked team both in FIFA and ELO Ratings in their group. They beat a team they should’ve, and drew two teams they weren’t supposed to (a good one vs England and a bad one vs Wales). One-and-done versus the Dutch in the knockout rounds. Not bad. Not great.
Pick the 2026 Winner
Joe Prince-Wright: France (they are stacked) and I really wanted to say England but just couldn’t do it. Maybe Brazil will be closer too?
Andy Edwards: Brazil
Nick Mendola: Spain. Pedro and Gavi leaving Qatar with the experience they gathered at such tender ages could leave the Spaniards simply looking to find their center forward answer over the next four years. Unai Simon was also good.