Enzo Fernandez wins the Young Player Award at World Cup 2022

Enzo Fernandez of Argentina poses for a photo with the FIFA Young Player award during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium on December 18, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.
(Image credit: Alex Caparros - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Enzo Fernandez has been named Young Player Award winner at World Cup 2022.

The 21-year-old was playing in Argentina with River Plate before a summer switch to Benfica and has lit up the tournament with his performances from midfield. Having netted against Mexico in the group stage, he featured consistently throughout the knockout stages, elbowing Juventus star Leandro Parades out of the side. 

The award was brought in for the 2006 tournament – Fernandez joins the likes of Lukas Podolski, Thomas Muller, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe in being awarded the gong.

Enzo Fernandez of Argentina celebrates after scoring their team's second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C match between Argentina and Mexico at Lusail Stadium on November 26, 2022 in Lusail City, Qatar.

Enzo Fernandez of Argentina celebrates after scoring against Mexico  (Image credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Fernandez's captain, Lionel Messi, was presented with the Golden Ball for the second time, becoming the first player ever to have lifted the trophy twice. Usually reserved for the biggest star on the losing side of a final, the Flea is the first man since Romario in 1994 to have won the World Cup and the Golden Ball in the same year. 

Argentina's No.1 Emi Martinez won the Golden Glove at the tournament. The Aston Villa star now joins a pantheon including the likes of Thibaut Courtois and Manuel Neuer – and he appeared to make what looked like a rude gesture with the trophy, holding it against his crotch. 

The only man who won an award but didn't get to lift the trophy was a player who really didn't deserve to walk away empty-handed. Kylian Mbappe this year's Golden Boot recipient, having leaped from five goals at the start of play to eight by the end – and becoming France's second Golden Boot winner after Just Fontaine, who netted 13 in 1958's edition. Mbappe's hat-trick was also notable for being the first time since 1966 that anyone had scored three in a final.

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Mark White
Staff Writer

Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.