Russia 2018 individual awards

The World Cup is sadly behind us after France won 4-2 in the final against Croatia. On the same day, the individual awards were handed out. We look at the four winners and how they came to be winners.

Harry Kane – Golden Boot

England’s captain Harry Kane was named the Golden Boot winner following his six goals at the World Cup. He won the award after scoring two goals more than second-placed players Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe.  Three of his goals came from open play whilst the other three were from penalties.

Defining moment – One of Kane’s outstanding moments came when he scored a last-gasp effort against Tunisia. The Three Lions looked like they would open their tournament with a disappointing draw, but the captain stepped up to glide home the winner.

Luka Modric – Golden ball

Luka Modric might be disappointed that Croatia did not win the World Cup, but he has done much more than many in the game get to do. He just came from winning a third consecutive Champions League trophy with Real Madrid and he was the deserving winner of the Golden Ball award.

Defining moment – Modric scored two goals and assisted the goal that almost saved his country the agony of going through a penalty shootout with Russia in the quarter-final. In the words of his own coach, the diminutive playmaker did the lion share of all the midfield responsibilities.

Kylian Mbappe – Golden Boy

Kylian Mbappe’s reputation keeps rising with every tournament he participates in. At only 19 years of age, he has stamped his authority on the grandest of stages in world football. He came to the limelight two years ago while turning out for Monaco in Ligue 1. A move to PSG followed soon after where he impressed to earn a national team call-up.

Defining moment – The knock out fixture between France and Argentina was the turning point for him in this tournament. His explosive pace and skill was just too much for the Argentinian defenders and he managed a brace whilst winning the penalty for his side’s first goal in that game. The teenage sensation was Les Blues main creative outlet where he registered more dribbles than everyone else. He finished the tournament with four goals and made history as the second teenager to score in a World Cup final after Pele in 1958.

Thibaut Courtois – Golden Glove

Belgium’s golden generation of players came third after an impressive outing. This represented the highest position they have ever finished in a World Cup competition. Notable was the contribution of Thibaut Courtois, the Belgian goalkeeper.  He is still a very young player, but even at his age, he has achieved a lot for country and club. He had three clean sheets in this tournament where he edged out Hugo Lloris who played more matches

Defining moment – His defining moment in Russia came when he denied Neymar a late goal that would have seen them go to extra time in the quarter-final. It was a stunning finger tip save that pushed the Brazilian’s shot over the bar, and guaranteed Belgium a place in the semis.