adidas golden ball

Four German players who will feature in tonight’s final have been shortlisted for the Golden Ball award for best player of the tournament. Mats Hummels, Philipp Lahm, Toni Kroos and Thomas Müller are all in the running for the award. Their fellow finalists Argentina have three of their players nominated; Ángel di María, Javier Mascherano and, unsurprisingly, Lionel Messi. Arjen Robben, Neymar and everyone’s favourite footballer of the moment, James Rodríguez, complete the list of ten.

The Golden Ball was first awarded after the 1978 World Cup to Mario Kempes of Argentina, while the current holder is Diego Forlán of Uruguay. Before 1978 the award did not technically exist and as such a player was simply dubbed the Best Player of the Tournament before sporting giants adidas began to sponsor an official award. Naturally the list of previous winners is dominated by Brazilians but there are one or two surprises such as Ronaldo winning it in 1998 and not 2002, and “Totò” Schillaci winning it for Italia ’90.

Best Player of the Tournament

1930 – José Nasazzi (Uruguay)*

1934 – Giuseppe Meazza (Italy)*

1938 – Leônidas (Brazil)

1950 – Zizinho (Brazil)

1954 – Ferenc Puskás (Hungary)

1958 – Didi (Brazil)*

1962 – Garrincha (Brazil)*

1966 – Bobby Charlton (England)*

1970 – Pelé (Brazil)*

1974 – Johan Cruyff (Netherlands)

Golden Ball winners

Mario Kempes
1978 – Mario Kempes (Argentina)*

paolo rossi 1982
1982 – Paolo Rossi (Italy)*

maradona 1986
1986 – Diego Maradona (Argentina)*

toto schillaci
1990 – Salvatore “Totò” Schillaci (Italy)

romario 1994
1994 – Romário (Brazil)*

Ronaldo 1998
1998 – Ronaldo (Brazil)

oliver kahn 2002
2002 – Oliver Kahn (Germany)

Zinedine Zidane
2006 – Zinedine Zidane (France)

diego forlan 2010
2010 – Diego Forlán (Uruguay)

* also won the World Cup