World Cup Golden Ball Odds: Mbappe, Messi & Neymar Battling For Award
World Cup Golden Ball Prediction:
The quarter-finals of World Cup 2022 begin on Friday, so this is a good moment to take a look at some key markets offered by betting sites.
Several players have starred so far in Qatar, but there is still plenty of time to make an impact.
The race for the Golden Ball has two clear favourites as it stands, but things could change dramatically over the next few days.
Which players are in contention for the prestigious prize? You can find the latest odds below, followed by our analysis of the Golden Ball race ahead of the quarters.
World Cup Golden Ball Odds
Mbappe Leads Race After Stunning Start
With four games gone Kylian Mbappe has been the outstanding performer of this World Cup so far.
The forward is not only the favourite to win the Golden Ball at 2.5 with World Cup betting sites, he is also in pole position to claim the Golden Boot having already scored five goals ahead of France’s quarter-final clash with England on Saturday.
Following reports that he is unhappy with his role as a central striker at Paris Saint-Germain this season, Mbappe has been at his devastating best in a left-sided berth for France.
The reigning champions funnel their attacks down that flank, where the 23-year-old’s astonishing speed and skill have allowed him to get the better of every full-back he has come up against.
Mbappe was especially dazzling against Poland last time out, scoring two wonderful goals in the second half to essentially send France through.
However, as brilliant as he has been, a defeat to England this weekend would almost certainly rule Mbappe out of the running. There is still a long way to go yet.
Messi Leading Argentina’s World Cup Charge
The same is true of Messi. The Argentine has performed fantastically up to now, as he seeks to win the World Cup for the first time in what is probably his last major tournament.
Yet while there are no official rules governing who is eligible for the Golden Ball, it is hard to see anyone scooping the prize without having played in the semi-finals at the very least.
Messi was a beneficiary of that phenomenon in 2014: James Rodriguez was the best player in the competition up to the quarter-finals, but Colombia’s exit in that round allowed Messi to (somewhat controversially) be named as the tournament’s best player.
Messi was superb against both Poland and Australia in his team’s last two games. Now being used as a false nine by Lionel Scaloni, he remains an effective creator and converter of chances at the age of 35.
The best football betting sites have him down at 5.5 to win the Golden Ball, but that price will lengthen dramatically if Argentina are knocked out by the Netherlands on Friday.
Brazil Have Three Contenders As Quarters Approach
Brazil are the favourites in the World Cup betting odds to win it all, but none of their players is particularly close to Mbappe or Messi in the Golden Ball stakes.
That is partly because the Selecao’s progression to the quarter-finals has been a collective effort, with no single superstar dragging them through.
Neymar remains the most likely recipient of the award at 17.0, but his absence from two group games means he has some catching-up to do.
Brazil are undoubtedly a better team with him in it though, and it would be unwise to bet against him inspiring his country to glory in what could be his last World Cup.
Richarlison and Vinicius Junior are both priced at 21.0. The former, you feel, is more likely to win the Golden Boot than the Golden Ball, but the latter could be an interesting selection at an attractive price.
Not even a guaranteed starter for Brazil heading into the competition, Vinicius has excelled on the left-hand side of Tite’s attack.
Bellingham And Fernandes Fly Flag For Midfielders
Luka Modric, a central midfielder, won the Golden Ball four years ago in Russia, and Jude Bellingham is looking to follow in his footsteps.
The teenager, priced at 21.0 with Bet365 in this market, has been superb up to now.
Playing as a No.8 in England’s engine room, the Borussia Dortmund man is a true all-rounder who contributes in every phase of the game.
If England were to reach the final, Bellingham’s odds to win the Golden Ball would shrink dramatically - although his age means he might be restricted to the Young Player of the Tournament prize unless he does something truly exceptional.
Bruno Fernandes is listed at 18.0 after he helped Portugal thrash Switzerland 6-1 on Tuesday.
Deployed as an attacking midfielder by Fernando Santos, Fernandes has scored two goals and set up two more.
If he adds to either tally against Morocco on Saturday, the Manchester United man might earn himself a few more backers in the Golden Ball race.
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