The Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Sunday (November 20) in Qatar with the hosts taking on Ecuador in the first game.

While every team will be having their eyes on the biggest prize in world football, there is plenty more for the best players as they will all be looking to win the prestigious Golden Ball award. Here, we will take a look at five contenders for the individual award. Lionel Messi This is widely expected to be Messi’s last World Cup. While he is widely considered among the greatest ever to grace the game, his resume misses the World Cup. The superstar will give his everything to help Argentina win their third World Cup. He will be one of the strongest contenders for th Golden Ball. Neymar Neymar has been the biggest force for Brazil in recent years and has the chance to create history in the World Cup by eclipsing Pele’s record most goals for the Selecao. If Brazil have a strong run in the tournament, their star player can have a strong shout in the Golden Ball race. Kevin De Bruyne Belgium have flattered to deceive at the highest stage despite their plethora of talent across their squad. If they have to make their talent count in the World Cup, De Bruyne will have to play a major role. Kylian Mbappe France have a strong chance of retaining their World Cup crown and if they have to do so, Mbappe has to have a fantastic campaign. The Frenchman is much more polished than what he used to be back in 2018 and he could be a strong pick for Golden Ball award. Bernardo Silva Portugal head to the World Cup with arguably their strongest squad in recent times. Fernando Santos will have a difficult time naming his starting XI given the talent he has at his disposal but one of the player who looks assured of playing a key role in Silva. The Manchester City attacker could be a strong candidate for the Golden Ball award.