FIFA World Cup 2018 Awards: Golden Ball, Boot and Glove Winners

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2018

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JULY 15:  Luka Modric of Croatia poses with his Golden Ball award, alongside Kylian Mbappe of France who poses with his Best Young Player award after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium on July 15, 2018 in Moscow, Russia.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Luka Modric won the Golden Ball as the best player at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, following Croatia's defeat to France in the final at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium on Sunday:

FIFA World Cup @FIFAWorldCup

adidas Golden Ball Award: 🥇Luka MODRIC (#CRO) 🥈Eden HAZARD (#BEL) 🥉Antoine GRIEZMANN (#FRA) #WorldCup https://t.co/KQSRiwUznh

France claimed the trophy courtesy of a 4-2 win, with Kylian Mbappe on the scoresheet before he picked up the Young Player award:

FIFA World Cup @FIFAWorldCup

FIFA Young Player Award: 🥇Kylian MBAPPE (#FRA) #WorldCup https://t.co/v4eMfItkkP

The Golden Glove went to Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who helped Belgium finish third:

FIFA World Cup @FIFAWorldCup

adidas Golden Glove Award: 🥇Thibaut COURTOIS (#BEL) #WorldCup https://t.co/S5xB7RBBdP

Finally, Harry Kane collected the Golden Boot after the Tottenham Hotspur striker netted six goals to propel England to the semi-final:

FIFA World Cup @FIFAWorldCup

adidas Golden Boot Award: 🥇Harry KANE (#ENG) 🥈Antoine GRIEZMANN (#FRA) 🥉Romelu LUKAKU (#BEL) #WorldCup https://t.co/iLzORGpmcd

A Spain side beaten in the Round of 16 by hosts Russia still collected FIFA's award for fair play.

Most of the focus naturally belongs to Modric and Mbappe after their contributions towards what proved to be a thrilling final. Modric couldn't get on the scoresheet, but the 32-year-old still used the ball with typical intelligence and class.

Modric's careful probing and artful precision defined Croatia during the tournament. It also helped ensure the Blazers weren't overwhelmed in the final, despite coming out on the wrong end of the scoreline:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Luka Modric controlling that midfield like... #WorldCupFinal #WorldCup #FRACRO https://t.co/TYh6O5u0h9

Afterwards, Croatia's chief playmaker, who won the award ahead of France's Antoine Griezmann and Eden Hazard of Belgium, fittingly earned the congratulations of his own football federation:


⚽️ #CRO captain @lukamodric10 is the best player of the 2018 @FIFAWorldCup in Russia! 👏 Congratulations to the #WorldCup Golden Ball winner! #BeProud #Croatia #WorldCupFinal #Vatreni🔥 https://t.co/IR5T2xljrd

As good as Modric has been, Mbappe is the bigger story after the way the 19-year-old wowed audiences over the past month. When the Paris Saint-Germain forward struck from distance in the 65th minute of the final he scored his fourth goal of the tournament.

In the process, Mbappe added to the growing comparisons between himself and World Cup king Pele:

ITV Football @itvfootball

Only Pele and Mbappe have scored in a World Cup Final as a teenager @equipedefrance 4⃣-2⃣ @HNS_CFF Watch LIVE on @ITV now #FRA #FRACRO #CRO #WorldCupFinal https://t.co/yvLiDC55Ie

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

Youngest footballers to play in and win a #WorldCupFinal: 🇧🇷 Pele 1⃣7⃣ 🇮🇹 Giuseppe Bergomi 1⃣8⃣ 🇫🇷 Kylian Mbappe 1⃣9⃣ https://t.co/FcSvm2IYiT

Mbappe may feel aggrieved to not have claimed the Golden Ball. After all, he can boast four goals and three assists at these finals compared to Modric's two goals and one assist.

However, France's teenage sensation can merely be content with already being proclaimed as the obvious successor to the sport's two biggest stars:

Match of the Day @BBCMOTD

🔥🔥🔥 @rioferdy5 believes Kylian Mbappe is the future of the game. #FRA https://t.co/JaaxWxOQbI

Kane may yet put himself in the same bracket, although the 24-year-old will likely still be ruing missing key chances during the 2-1 defeat to Modric's Croatia in the semi-final.

Even so, Kane generally led the line brilliantly for the Three Lions, while showcasing the ruthless streak he's made a hallmark of his game at club level. His performances in Russia also earned Kane a doth of the cap from the last man to win the Golden Boot for England:

Gary Lineker @GaryLineker

Congratulations to @HKane on winning the golden boot. Welcome to the club, young man.

It's taken 32 years for the Three Lions to find a striker as cool in front of goal. Kane can build on what he's done in Russia to dominant for his country for years to come.