Lionel Messi became the first player to win two Golden Ball awards after he won his second one after winning the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Lionel Messi : Golden Ball | How many times he won
Over the years, there have been several stars who have produced greatness on the greens, from Alfredo de Stefano to Johan Cryuff, Ferenc Puskas to Lev Yashin, Zico to Michel Platini, there are a plethora of names that one can recount.
On 18th December 2022, another name joined that rare and elite list of all. Lionel Messi.
Not that his silken dribbling skills, innumerable goals at club and international level, were not enough to earn him a legendary status, but a World Cup win was just the stamp that he needed to become an all-time great.
Messi and his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo have bedazzled football loving masses for close to two decades now and whenever the ‘GOAT’ debate was raised for either, the only contention was the lack of a global trophy.
He shattered several records en route to the trophy that Argentina has been pining for 36 long years since the great El Diego had done it for them. Having emulated his idol at last, Messi is truely now Argentina’s “Messi-ah”.
Lionel messi Golden Ball
Lionel Messi has won the World Cup Golden Ball, becoming the first man to do so twice, after inspiring Argentina to a penalty shoot-out victory over France following a scintillating Qatar 2022 final.
Messi, who steered La Albiceleste to their first world title since 1986, scored a double in an undulating classic that finished 3-3 after extra time, before scoring in a shoot-out that Argentina won 4-2 to make history in Doha.
Having been named the Golden Ball winner eight years ago at Brazil 2014, when Argentina were edged by Germany in the final, the 35-year-old twice looked poised for heartbreak again after Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick.
But after Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman’s spot-kick, Gonzalo Montiel’s decisive penalty ensured he claimed the greatest prize of all in his last World Cup game.
It means Messi emulates countryman Diego Maradona once more, too, with Maradona the player of the tournament in Argentina’s previous triumph 36 years ago.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner departs World Cup football after one of the most influential tournament performances of all time on a match-to-match basis, taking his total of Player of the Match wins to 11 across five tournaments.
He was named the Player of the Match in five games, including all of their prior knockout fixtures and the final, besting the record of four he previously jointly shared with the Netherlands’ Wesley Sneijder after his performances in 2014.
Mbappe, meanwhile, won up the Silver Ball and Croatia’s Luca Modric – the previous Golden Ball winner at Russia 2018 – was named the recipient of the Bronze Ball.
How many times he won
Messi has scooped the 2022 World Cup Golden Ball award after captaining his side to victory in Qatar.
- Golden Ball award : 2 Times
The Paris Saint-Germain superstar scored seven goals at the tournament, including a brace in the final, and picks up the award for the second time in his career.
The Argentina captain finally picked up the one trophy that had eluded him in his phenomenal career on Sunday as he led his team to glory at the World Cup.
Messi has been in inspirational form in Qatar, scoring seven goals and picking up three assists.
The 35-year-old was pipped to the Golden Boot by PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe but takes home the World Cup trophy and the Golden Ball for being the best player.
Argentina’s Enzo Fernandez won Young Player of the Tournament, while La Albiceleste’s No.1 goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez scooped the Golden Glove award.