2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar: Argentine Domination in World Cup Awards, Mbappé Got His Consolation Prize

The first FIFA World Cup ever to be held in a Middle-East State and during the winter season has just concluded all 64 matches of the tournament, with a final that will be remembered and recited for generations. The finale of the quadrennial competition saw Argentina bag home its third World Cup crown, after beating the then defending world champion France on penalties. France came back multiple times during the game to level the score, courtesy of Kylian Mbappé’s sheer moments of brilliance, but to avail.

Unlike the previous World Cup in Russia that had players from four different countries winning individual awards, Argentina won three out of the four personal honours in addition to its World Cup win. Let us take a look at these winners in Qatar and what made them stand out from the rest.

Golden Ball (Lionel Messi)

With five Man of the Match awards, seven goals scored and three assists provided in seven games played, Argentina’s captain and all-time top scorer is undoubtedly the best player for the newly-crown world champion. Although most of these goals came from the 12 yards, the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner’s involvements in the title-winning La Albiceleste were invaluable, thus cementing his position as a true football great in the history of the sport.

Golden Boot (Kylian Mbappé)

The 2018 FIFA World Cup Young Player award winner showed why he is the forerunning megastar within the young wave of footballers in this year’s tournament. With many stars and key players absent for France in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, the Paris Saint-Germain forward had to shoulder enormous responsibilities in Les Bleus’ quest of defending their title. A hat-trick in the final made him only the second person to do so in a World Cup, and increased his tally to eight goals, allowing him to bring home the Golden Boot award, alongside his silver medal as consolation prizes. With a total of 12 goals scored over two World Cups and at only 23 years old, it is only a matter of time before he surpasses Miroslav Klose’s all-time goal scoring record in the World Cup (16).

Golden Glove (Emiliano Martínez)

Apart from the great Lionel Messi, the enigmatic goalkeeper Emiliano Martínez was another Argentine hero in this year’s World Cup. He saved a total of three penalties in Argentina’s two penalty shoot-outs in the knockout round, and parried away what would have been a French winner by Randal Kolo Muani in the dying moments of the extra time in the final. Had the goal gone in, Messi would have left his last World Cup participation without the elusive silverware.

Young Player (Enzo Fernández)

If you have been wondering how the 21-year-old central midfielder from Benfica won the award, then you probably have not known about his stats in the final. Despite being wounded by many injuries, the French midfield remained solid in the final, with the likes of Adrien Rabiot and Aurélien Tchouaméni holding the fort. But against these midfielders from major clubs in Europe in the final, Enzo Fernández led all players for touches (118), successful passes (77) and tackles (10). His 10 tackles were the most by any player in a World Cup final since Gennaro Gattuso in 2006. Quite a remarkable feat by a youngster and he is definitely a future force to be reckoned with for Argentina.

(Photo Credits: Eurosport)

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