Messi makes history with second Golden Ball
Lionel Messi has won the World Cup Golden Ball for the second time, after leading Argentina to a penalty shoot-out victory over France in the final of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
Messi, who led Argentina to their first world title since 1986, scored twice in a tense match that ended 3-3 after extra time, before scoring in a shootout that Argentina won 4-2 to make history in Doha.
After been awarded the Golden Ball winner eight years ago in Brazil 2014, when Argentina was defeated in the final by Germany, the 35-year-old again appeared to be headed for heartbreak after Kylian Mbappe’s hat-trick.
After Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman’s penalty, Gonzalo Montiel’s crucial penalty ensured he won the biggest prize of all in his final World Cup game.
It also means Messi is following in the footsteps of Argentina’s former champion, Diego Maradona, who was named tournament MVP 36 years ago.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner leaves World Cup football after one of the most influential tournament performances of all time, winning Player of the Match 11 times in five tournaments.
He was voted Player of the Match in five games, including all of their previous knockout games and the final, breaking the record of four he previously shared with Wesley Sneijder of the Netherlands after his exploits in 2014.
Meanwhile, Mbappe received the Silver Ball, while Croatia’s Luca Modric, the previous Golden Ball winner in Russia 2018, received the Bronze Ball.