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The Adidas Golden Ball Award is presented to the best player of each and every FIFA World Cup tournament.

Golden Ball Award

Did you know that the Golden Ball Award or the Adidas Golden Ball Award as it’s now known almost means the world to a football player? Well, it does. Players fight it out for their countries at the biggest stage of them all, and the player who contributes most to the success of his country is honored with the ‘Golden Ball Award.  The 2006 Golden Ball Award was presented to France’s star footballer Zinedine Zidane for his addictive on field performances, the ‘head butt that made headlines’ notwithstanding. 

The player who receives the award is selected by a high-profile committee comprising top FIFA officials and respected media persons. This is how the whole process of zeroing in on a Golden Ball ‘recipient’ gets on track – A short-list of ten exceptional players is put together by a FIFA technical committee. The names of the players are nominated to the list. This list is then presented to media representatives who may mostly have a great insight into everything that goes into making football the game that it is. The representatives then decide on the player who is the most worthy of getting the Adidas Golden Ball Award and then go on to decide on the players are worthy of the ‘Silver’ and ‘Bronze’ balls.

Past Golden Ball awardees include the greats of world football. Champions, stalwarts and heavyweights who have more than just contributed to the triumphs of their teams are honored with the prestigious award. Also, the player’s position on the field is never really taken into consideration, as long as he churns out stupendous performances, he is eligible to receive the Golden Ball. At the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan the Golden Ball was presented to legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. He was the first goalkeeper to lay claim to the Golden Ball Award.

The Adidas Golden Ball Award was commissioned by Adidas in the year 1982 and was inspired by the celebrated Chile ball. The Chile ball was fashioned by expert manufacturers in the year 1960 and still remains in the custody of FIFA and Adidas. The latest version of the Golden Ball Award has inscribed on it the names of previous awardees; stars who have made a mark for themselves at the ‘biggest stage of them all’. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will see yet another star lay claim to the prestigious Golden Ball Award, an award that complements the genius of the recipient.

FIFA World Cup Golden Ball Awardees

*The list of players who have won the Golden Ball Award is given below.

Year
Player
Country
1982
Paolo Rossi
Italy
1986
Diego Maradona
Argentina
1990
Salvatore Schillaci
Italy
1994
Romário
Brazil
1998
Ronaldo
Brazil
2002
Oliver Kahn
Germany
2006
Zinedine Zidane
France




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