Golden Ball contenders: Kylian Mbappe, Luka Modric, Antoine Griezmann
By Billy Cundall
Last Updated: 13/07/18 5:45pm
Ahead of the World Cup final, we assess the contenders for the Golden Ball with Kylian Mbappe and Luka Modric leading the race.
The Golden Ball is voted on by a panel and awarded to the best player at the tournament, with previous winners including Ronaldo (1998), Oliver Kahn (2002), Zinedine Zidane (2006), Diego Forlan (2010) and Lionel Messi (2014).
The race for the 2018 World Cup Golden Ball looks the toughest to call of all the awards.
Hugo Lloris, with four clean sheets, is 8/15 for the Golden Glove, six-goal Harry Kane is just 1/16 for the Golden Boot and betting is suspended on Mbappe landing the Best Young Player accolade.
Here's how the Golden Ball contenders are considered based on Sky Bet's odds…
Kylian Mbappe - 8/11 with Sky Bet
After running defenders ragged throughout the competition with his blistering pace and lethal final product, the PSG forward has been backed into odds-on with Sky Bet to secure the trophy.
The 19-year old now could be in line for the tournament's prestigious individual award, having netted three times in six matches, as well as picking up two FIFA Man of the Match awards along the way and, if he can replicate his tournament form in the final, he is expected to be the youngest ever winner of the coveted Golden Ball.
Luka Modric - 2/1 with Sky Bet
Modric is second in the running, having covered most distance, played most minutes, and scored the joint-most goals for his nation. The Real Madrid playmaker will be vital if his nation are to win the World Cup for the first time in their history, and a reproduction of his man-of-the-match semi-final performance will go a long way to helping him scoop the accolade.
Antoine Griezmann - 11/1 with Sky Bet
Another French contender for the award is Griezmann. The 27-year old forward leads the list of outsiders to collect the award, after producing consistent quality throughout the tournament, scoring three and assisting a further two goals. He also won the Golden Boot at the European Championships in 2016 and will be hoping a final performance could scoop him the award once more.
N'Golo Kante - 22/1 with Sky Bet
In a whirlwind three years, the Chelsea midfielder has been handed his international debut, won two Premier League titles, competed in the European Championship final, and will now participate in the World Cup final on Sunday. He has again been pivotal in the French engine-room, intercepting and initiating attacks from defence. The former Leicester man won PFA Player of the Year in 2017, and is a long shot at 22/1 with Sky Bet to add another individual honour to his trophy cabinet.
Paul Pogba is next in line at 25/1. The Manchester United star has produced consistently powerful and intelligent performances that has given him a shot at the award, should he perform in Moscow on Sunday. Ivan Rakitic has provided the perfect partner to Luka Modric in the Croatian midfield, and stands an outside shot at 33/1 alongside France's Raphael Varane, who produced a commanding performance in the quarter-final clash with Uruguay, scoring a goal and keeping a clean sheet.
Current Golden Boot favourite Harry Kane (1/16 with Sky Bet) and Ivan Perisic complete the other outsiders at 50/1.