FIFA World Cup: Messi becomes first to win prestigious Golden Ball trophy twice

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Argentinian football star Lionel Messi has become the first footballer to win the prestigious Golden Ball trophy twice, after the FIFA World Cup tournament in Doha, Qatar concluded on Sunday night.

Lionel Messi won the Adidas Golden Ball for best player at the Qatar 2022 tournament late Sunday. The first time he won the trophy was in Brazil’s 2014 World Cup when Argentina secured the runners-up spot.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Final - Argentina v France - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 18, 2022: Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after receiving the Golden Ball award as he celebrates after winning the World Cup. (Reuters)
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Final - Argentina v France - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 18, 2022: Argentina's Lionel Messi kisses the World Cup trophy after receiving the Golden Ball award as he celebrates after winning the World Cup. (Reuters)

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During the tournament, French footballer Kylian Mbappe won Silver and Croatia’s Luka Modric won the Bronze Ball.

Argentina won the World Cup after beating defending champions France 4-2 on penalties, following a dramatic 3-3 draw after extra time.

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Final - Argentina v France - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 18, 2022: Argentina's Lionel Messi lifts the World Cup trophy alongside teammates as they celebrate winning the World Cup. (Reuters)
FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Final - Argentina v France - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - December 18, 2022: Argentina's Lionel Messi lifts the World Cup trophy alongside teammates as they celebrate winning the World Cup. (Reuters)

Argentina keeper Emiliano Martinez saved Kingsley Coman's penalty and Aurelien Tchouameni fired wide to give Argentina their first world title since 1986, and third overall.

France had come from two goals down to level over 90 minutes with Mbappe netting twice in two minutes, including an 80th-minute penalty.

The France striker completed his hat-trick in the 118th with another spot-kick after Messi had tapped in for a 3-2 lead in the 109th.

Argentina had gone 2-0 up in the first half with Messi, making a record-breaking 26th World Cup appearance, converting a 23rd-minute penalty.

They struck again with a sublime four-pass counter-attack as Alexis Mac Allister's cutback found Angel Di Maria and he finished well.

With Reuters

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