World Cup is absolute pinnacle of any professional footballer career. To represent their nation at world stage hits different compared to club football which mostly revolve around money specially over the last couple of decades. When it comes to FIFA World Cup, money is not the factor for most part but guiding their national teams to glory is what drives players on. lifting that shinny little FIFA World Cup trophy presented to the winning nation is what dreams are made.
However, when it comes to World Cup there are several other awards which hold significant importance and explain them all in this “FIFA World Cup Award” series of articles. Most of these awards are presented over individual performances.
List of FIFA World Cup Individual Awards:
The three major individual awards are for the top goal scorer of world cup (Golden Boot), best player of the tournament (Golden Ball) and Best goalkeeper in the tournament (Golden Glove).
Golden Boot Award:
Introduced In: 1930 World Cup
Last Winner: Harry Kane (England)
Golden Boot is awarded to the player who scores to most number of goals in World Cup. It was presented first time back in 1930, the very first world cup when Argentina’s Guillermo Stabile won the award with 8 goals in 4 matches. Harry Kane was the last winner with his 6 goals in 7 matches during 2018 World Cup. Selecting the winner of this award is based on statistics, the player with highest number of goals wins the award regardless of how his team perform during the tournament.
See Also: Past Winners of World Cup Golden Boot
Golden Ball Award:
Introduced in: World Cup 1982
Last Winner: Luka Modric (Croatia)
First introduced back in 1982 World Cup, Golden Ball Award is presented to the best player of the tournament. Unlike the Golden Boot award which is based on statistics, Golden Ball selection is done with help of FIFA’s technical committee who nominate shortlist of players by semifinal stage and from that shortlist respected media/sports journalists vote for the players and winner is selected by end of World Cup final matches. Golden Ball award is presented before the final ceremony.
See Also: Past winners of golden ball award
Golden Glove Award:
Introduced in: Since 1930 in similar format to current one
Last Winner: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)
Awarded to the best goalkeeper of the tournament, this award has been given to goalkeepers since very first world cup 1930. Goalkeeper who was selected in the “Tournament Best XI” would get this award. But in 1994 it was renamed to “Lev Yashin Trophy” and criteria to select the award winner was put in place. Goalkeepers with most cleansheets in the tournament were shortlisted after semifinals. The winner is selected during the World Cup final by FIFA’s technical study group by taking overall performances into account.
See also: Past winners of Golden Glove Awards
Best Young Player Award:
Introduced in: World Cup 2006
Last Winner: Kylian Mbappe (France)
This award was introduced back in 2006 world cup and is awarded to the outstanding under-21 player of the tournament. Statistics are taken into account, for midfielders and forward (goals and assist) while for defenders and keepers (cleansheets) are considered. FIFA technical performance study group shortlist the under-21 players based on statistics and overall performances by semifinal stage and winner is selected after voting by respected sports journalists from around the world.
FIFA Fair-Play Trophy:
This award is presented to the team with best fair play attitude during the tournament. Mostly teams with fewest yellow/red cards. It could also be awarded to the team who had shown some unusual match spirit during the tournament. (Take Denmark for example in Euro 2021 when Eriksen had cardiac arrest). This award was introduced back in 1970’world cup.
Most Entertaining Team Award:
Last Winner: France
This award is presented to the team usually who scores the most number of goals. If two teams are matched at same number of goals, teams who conceded less is presented this award.
Team Of The Tournament Award:
Officially Started back in 1990, best XI of world cup is selected based on statistics performances and input from FIFA performance study group. The team is finalized after the tournament and announced a day for tournament finishes. Each of the eleven players selected in team of the tournament, get Best XI trophy.
Last Winners: Thibaut Courtois (Belgium), Kieran Tripper (England), Raphael Varane (France), Diego Godin (Uruguay), Lucas Hernandez (France), Luka Modric (Croatia), N’Golo Kante (France), Philippe Coutinho (Brazil), Kylian Mbappe (France), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
Goal Of The Tournament:
FIFA introduced goal of the tournament trophy in 2006 world cup. It is awarded to the player who scored the best goal which is selected via online voting by fans and with final input from FIFA expert panel.
Last Winner: Benjamin Pavard won this award thanks to his goal against Argentina in semifinal of 2018 World Cup.
Man Of the Match Award
Awarded to best player of every world cup match. It is presented at the end of the match and selected with the help of FIFA study group input as well as media personal (Journalists/commentators) voting.