20 Golden Ball Award Winners At FIFA World Cup Of All Time

Since the first FIFA world cup in 1930, there have been 20 golden ball winners. This is a prize given to the best player at the games. Here is a list of all the 20 Golden Ball Award Winners at FIFA World Cup over this duration.

20. Lionel Messi

 Lionel Messi (Argentina)

The Argentine star helped his team to reach the finals of the 2014 FIFA world Cup although they lost to the eventual winners, Germany. He however had impressed all and was no doubt the favorite for the Golden Ball prize. He beat off stiff competition from other stars.

19. Deigo Forlan

 Deigo Forlan

He was the undoubted star at the South Africa games in 2010 helping Uruguay to the quarterfinals. His prowess was unmatched and even though he did not get a chance to play in the finals, he won the prize.

18. Zinedine Zidane

 Zinedine Zidane

Famed for his Head but during the finals against Italy in Germany 2006, the French international still won the Golden Ball. He was an outstanding player especially when he was influential in big games such as Brazil and others. He eventually retired from football.

17. Oliver Khan

Oliver Khan

The former German number one is one of the most remembered goalkeepers in the history of soccer. During the 2002 finals against eventual winners Brazil, he was outstanding in the goal even though they lost. He had already won the hearts of many.

16. Ronaldo


During the finals in France in 1998, one name was on the mind of every soccer fan – Ronaldo. His magic on the field had never been seen before and so, it was already expected that he would bag the prize of the best player. He was also a star in the subsequent tournament.

15. Romario


The Brazilian was the sensational player during the 1994 FIFA World Cup finals. He was a special part of the Samba Boys team and it came without a shock that he helped them to clinch the trophy. Everyone still remembers him vividly.

14. Salvatore Schillaci

 Salvatore Schillaci

He won the prize during the 1990 finals where he helped the Italian team to reach great heights. He amazed many with his tricks on the field and the way he was able to get past his opponents and get the ball flowing as needed.

13. Diego Maradona

 Diego Maradona

Even those who never saw him play know that Maradona was a player to reckon with. Winning the golden ball in 1986 the same year that Argentina won the tournament, he went ahead to become a household name not only in Argentina but all over the world.

12. Paolo Rossi

 Paolo Rossi

Italy’s Paolo Rossi won the prize in 1982 after a wonderful display during the tournament. Though buoyed by some slight injuries, he still went ahead to deliver a performance that no other player at the games could come close to.

11. Mario Kempes

Mario Kempes

He was the golden boot winner at the FIFA World Cup in 1978. The Argentine had enjoyed a good run of play before the tournament and therefore, it was little wonder that he carried on with the good run and won.

10. John Cruyff

 John Cruyff

The Dutch legend was a deserved winner in 1974. He is still remembered for the new style that he brought into the game and which is still a dream for many players. He definitely will be remembered by many soccer fans.

9. Pele


In 170, the world was treated to the soccer skills of a new name, Pele. The Brazilian was an instant hit when he landed at the world cup games and his contribution to the Brazilian team was always felt throughout the tournament.

8. Bobby Charlton

 Bobby Charlton

Being the only English player to have won the golden ball at the world cup, you can be sure that Bobby Charlton’s name is boldly written in the books of soccer history. He won the prize on 1968 following a successful campaign by the England squad, which is the only year that they ever won the cup.

7. Garrincha


Garrincha, a Brazilin, was the winner of the Golden Ball at the world cup in 1964. Although there was a pool of many other serious contenders, he eventually bagged the prize following his amazing display of skills and contribution. He is always regarded as a true legend in his native Brazil.

6. Didi


Didi is a Swedish legend who bagged the FIFA World Cup golden ball prize in 1958. This followed an amazing run of good results from the Sweden team despite being far from the favorites at the tournament. He almost single handedly carried the team to victory.

5. Ferenc Puskas

 Ferenc Puskas

In 1954, the Hungarian was named the winner by the committee. He surely deserved it especially if you look at the skills that he displayed. He was among the few players who got unanimous votes for the prize. He also was influential in all the matches that Hungary won especially when they were facing tough opponents who threatened to throw them out of the tournament.

4. Zizinho



Just after the world cup had taken a break following the World War, it was back with a bang and there was one name that was being shouted left right and center – Zizinho. The Brazilian is famed for bringing back the spark in the games.

3. Leonidas



Yet another Brazilian star, Leonidas bagged the prize in 1938. A strong big built yet fast paced player, he would easily wade through the opposition to create chances for his team. He was also popular for his signature tricks that ensure that the Brazilian team had the edge over their opponents.

2. Giuseppe Meazza

 Giuseppe Meazza

In 1934, Giuseppe Meazza was the man to watch. He kept the Italian fans on their toes as they watched their games. Even before the tournament had lasted long, he was already being touted as one of the contenders of the golden ball prize. And sure, he went ahead to win it.

1. Jose Nasazzi

 Jose Nasazzi

The Uruguay legend will remain the history of soccer as the first player to win this prize. Of course, this was during the pioneer tournament and so, he is the trend setter. There is no doubt that after that, all the players who later won the prize always wanted to follow in his footsteps.

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