World Cup 2022: Has Lionel Messi ever won the Golden Boot or Golden Ball?

Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring for Argentina against Australia at World Cup 2022.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Argentina’s bid for World Cup 2022 (opens in new tab) glory will depend on one man above all others: Lionel Messi.

The 35-year-old has admitted this will be his last outing at the World Cup, and therefore his last chance to claim the coveted crown for his country.

Despite his advancing years, Messi remains an inspiring figure on and off the field for the Albiceleste.

With four goals to his name so far in Qatar, the Argentine great is just one shy of tournament top scorer Kylian Mbappe in the Golden Boot race. (opens in new tab)

He also looks likely to be among the contenders for the coveted Golden Ball after providing game-changing goals and assists against Mexico, Australia and the Netherlands so far.  

Messi has won stacks of individual awards during his illustrious career, including a record seven Ballon d’Ors, but has he picked up prizes at the World Cup before?

Has Lionel Messi won the World Cup Golden Boot?

Lionel Messi Netherlands

(Image credit: Getty)

Messi is yet to win the World Cup Golden Boot. This year in Qatar he has already equalled his record tally in the competition of four goals.

This is Messi’s fifth World Cup appearance.

At his first in 2006 he scored one goal, while he failed to find the net in five games when Argentina made it to the quarter-finals in South Africa in 2010.

Messi scored four times in 2014, all coming in the group stage, as Argentina reached the final and lost 1-0 to Germany in extra time.

Only two players did better – Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez of Colombia with six goals, and Germany’s Thomas Muller with five.

Messi scored once in Russia 2018, against Nigeria in the group stage, but Argentina lost 4-3 to France in the last 16 despite two assists from their captain.

Has Lionel Messi won the World Cup Golden Ball?

The Golden Ball is awarded to the best player at the World Cup.

Messi won the World Cup Golden Ball once, in 2014, after leading Argentina to the final in Brazil.

The then-Barcelona star scored four goals to help his side reach the final, where they lost to the Germans. 

At the end of the game, a distraught Messi was handed the prize after FIFA’s Technical Study Group named him the tournament’s best player ahead of Germany’s Thomas Muller and Arjen Robben of the Netherlands.

FIFA called Messi “a true captain and a true matchwinner” after announcing him as the winner, praising him for scoring four of Argentina’s six goals in the group stage before setting up Angel DI Maria’s extra-time winner against Switzerland in the last 16.

“While the personal accolade may be scant reward for a runners-up medal, he can be justifiably proud of his performances at this World Cup,” FIFA wrote on their website. 

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Alasdair Mackenzie is a freelance journalist based in Rome, and a FourFourTwo contributor since 2015. When not pulling on the FFT shirt, he can be found at Reuters, The Times and the i. An Italophile since growing up on a diet of Football Italia on Channel 4, he now counts himself among thousands of fans sharing a passion for Ross County and Lazio.