The 2018 World Cup ended on Sunday after a 32 days of wild and unforgettable moments. France was crowned champion after beating Cinderella Croatia 4-2 in the final in Moscow. The tournament featured 169 goals scored and it came within two of tying the highest scoring World Cup ever.
Russia 2018 had its ups and downs (early exits for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo) but it also featured plenty of surprises (England and Belgium reaching the semis, Croatia finishing second). It also featured some great individual performances. Let’s take a look at the winners of the individual awards handed out after Sunday’s final:
Golden Ball Award
Luka Modric, Croatia: The superstar midfielder earned the tournament’s best player award (Golden Ball Award) and also the first Croatian player to win the award, serving as the heart and soul of the team’s dream run to the final. He figured to have competition from Kylian Mbappe and others, but he was the most complete, consistent player and rightfully takes home the award:
FIFA Young Player Award
Kylian Mbappe, France: There was no way it was going to be anybody else for this award. The 19-year-old who also has a trait in Africa noting Nigeria and Cameroon, also playing from Paris Saint-Germain had four goals, including one in the final and three in the knockout stage. A guy who already blew up before the tournament at Monaco, he now enters the future as the best young player in the world. All signs point to him winning the Ballon d’Or award in a few years.
Golden Boot Award
Harry Kane, England: He wasn’t the best striker in this tourney, but he finishes as top scorer with six goals. Three of them came off penalty kicks, which doesn’t make it as impressive. Not a single player in Russia scored more, and you can’t deny that. Quite the honor for the 24-year-old Tottenham man, who should only get better.
Golden Glove Award
Thibaut Courtois, Belgium: Voted best goalkeeper, Courtois conceded six goals in seven games while Belgium took third place, its best finish in the World Cup. Part of why he gave up so many goals was because of Roberto Martinez’s lineup that featured three center backs and two wing backs. The Chelsea man made some unbelievable saves, especially in the match against Neymar and Brazil to take home the top honor.
FAIR PLAY AWARD
During the tournament, Spain has a good start leading from their qualifying clash to the knockout stage. We don’t have any doubt of them making it to fair play award despite been knock-out by the world cup host team Russia.