Who wins the World Cup Golden Ball?

The Favourites

Kylian Mbappe - Best priced with Skybet at 4/1

Kylian Mbappe burst onto the scene in the 2016/17 when he was part of the young Monaco side that shocked PSG by winning the Ligue 1 title. His pace and ball control caused teams all over Europe problems in a season that saw them reach the champions league semi-finals, beating Manchester City on the way. After that season he became the second most expensive transfer ever, moving to the French capital to play for PSG.

The young striker is now 19 years old and has become a big part of the French national side. His raw pace is not his only strong attribute. His ability to run with the ball allows him to glide past players and is a great asset for club and country. Despite his age he is very calm and composed in front of goal and never seems to snatch at chances. He has scored three goals at the World Cup already and will be a big part of France's chances of winning the World Cup.

Gareth Southgate England
Harry Kane has thrived since Gareth Southgate gave him the captaincy

Harry Kane - Best priced with Bet365 at 4/1

England's star man has only strengthened his status as one of the best strikers in the world in Russia. The "one season wonder" has been fantastic since locking down his place at Tottenham. He has now scored 20+ goals in the last four seasons and England are heavily reliant on his goal threat. Kane knows where the goal is and he'll score goals wherever he plays. Since establishing himself as England's number nine he hasn't turned back and has scored 19 goals in his 27 appearances for his country.

Gareth Southgate has got the best out of Harry Kane at the World Cup. He has given him a lot of responsibility by making him captain and playing him as a lone striker. However, Kane's strong mentality has shown and he has thrived under Southgate. He has 12 goals in his 8 games as captain and become England's vocal point. His hold up play is key for England and they've struggled when he's been absent. With 6 goals in Russia already he's in prime position to win the Golden Boot. If England continue their trajectory and go deep into the World Cup he could sweep up all the individual prizes and possibly a winners medal to go along with it.

The Brazilians

Neymar - Best Priced with Betfair at 6/1

Brazil and Neymar haven't impressed too many people so far this World Cup. They came in as favourites but haven't played the "samba" football they're famous for. Neymar secured a move to PSG to get out of the shadow of Lionel Messi and make his own claim as the best player in the world. However, it hasn't all gone to plan, playing in a lesser league and suffering injuries. Neymar needs a good World Cup if he wishes to claim this year's Ballon D'or and winning the Golden Ball will be a good step towards that.

During the group stages Neymar didn't quite look himself and rumours were he was still getting over his injury that he picked up towards the end of the domestic season. However, against Mexico he improved greatly and if he can continue that form all the way to the final people will forget his group stage games. He has two goals to his name and remains the main man for Brazil. Neymar commits numerous defenders when he gets the ball and allows the rest of the team the space to play. He'll likely get more space against the better teams and make a real impact for Brazil.

Brazil
Brazil are favourites to win the World Cup

Philippe Coutinho - Best Priced with Bet365 at 8/1

When people talk about Brazil Neymar will always take the limelight but Philippe Coutinho has arguably been their best player so far in Russia. The little midfielder comes into the tournament fresh. He moved to Barcelona during the January transfer window from Liverpool. Their intentions were to use him in rotation as he gets grips with life in the city, so he can hit the ground running next season.

He flies under the radar in this very talented Brazil team but has been their main creative force. He's yet to have a bad game in Russia and has two goals to his name. The two goals he's scored have been at vital times for Brazil as they struggled in the group stages. Scoring the opening goal against Switzerland and against Costa Rica in the 90th minutes. He continues to turn up for his country and will play a big part if they manage to lift the trophy.

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The Outsiders

Luka Modric - Best Priced with WilliamHill at 14/1

In recent years Luka Modric has established himself as one of the best central midfielders in the world. At Real Madrid he is a crucial part to their system but can be ignored when he is playing alongside the likes of Ronaldo, Bale and Toni Kroos. However, he remains a key cog in the side and for Croatia his class shines through. Everything goes through him and next to Rakitic Croatia have one of the best midfields in Russia.

For Croatia, Modric plays as a number ten and is given the freedom to go forward. With Rakitic and Brozovic in behind him he can roam behind the striker and pick up great position. Against Argentina he ran the show and outshone the likes of Messi. However, in the round of sixteen win against Denmark not a lot of football could be played due to lack of space and he missed his penalty in the shootout, which may explain why he's priced so high. Without Modric its hard to see Croatia making the final and if anyone can keep him quite as Denmark did Croatia will struggle.

Luka Modric Croatia
Luka Modric has a hand in everything that is good for Croatia

Eden Hazard - Best Priced with WilliamHill at 14/1

The Belgians are currently in a golden age of football. They've got some of the best players in the world and they're all in their prime or very close to it. The European Championships was a poor tournament for the squad and this may be the last chance this current crop of players have together. Chelsea winger, Eden Hazard captains his country and plays a very important role. With Lukaku up front on his own he can be isolated at times but Hazard's ability on the ball commits players giving the likes of Lukaku more space to play.

Against Japan, Hazard got the team back into the game. He was a constant threat down the right and assisted the Fellaini equaliser. The winger has always lacked goals and that has held him back from being put in the same category as Neymar, Messi and Ronaldo. He has got two goals two his name, both coming in the 5-2 victory against Tunisia. Hazard has vowed to star and fulfil his potential at this World Cup. With so much talent in the side it is hard to standout but Hazard has that magic in his boots and can win Belgium games on his own.


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