Howdy, this is the Post Up, back with another amazing article about sports. In today’s article, we will be looking at the top 3 contenders for the Golden Ball. The Adidas Golden Ball is essentially the MVP trophy for the World Cup. Therefore, we will be breaking down the top 3 candidates for this award and then hopefully you all can gain an opinion on who should be the favorite.
Candidate One: James Rodríguez
For the first candidate on everyone’s list, we have the obvious choice in James Rodríguez. Rodríguez has become a superstar overnight in the World Cup having taken everyone by surprise. He is currently in the lead with the most goals scored at 5. He also has 2 assists to his name and is not a slouch on passing the ball either. With how Rodríguez has been lighting up the scoreboard, people tend to forget that he is a midfield and doing a darn good job at it. He so far has a 71% pass completion and a 47% cross completion. It is obvious that the Colombian team works their entire offense through this young man and he has handled that kind of responsibility with grace and class that only the best show. It is because of all of this that it is no surprise that on everyone’s list for Golden Ball, James Rodríguez is somewhere on it.
Candidate Two: Tim Howard
Next on the list is a guy who easily has the Golden Glove locked up for best goalkeeper in the World Cup, and that is Mr. Tim Howard. Everyone and anyone who has been watching the World Cup or even SportsCenter knows who Howard is now. This World Cup he has been far and away the best goalkeeper with amazing saves and performances against the likes of Germany, Portugal, Ghana and especially Belgium. This is also saying a lot because we have had some outstanding performances in the World Cup from goalkeepers such as Ochoa, M’Bolhi, etc. Howard has had to save 28 shots this World Cup and has only allowed 6 goals. 6 goals may seem like a lot, but let me say this, he did this while being in the Group of Death (a name for the toughest group in a soccer competition), and also not having anyone who knows how to play defense in front of him. Before his match against Belgium, spot in the Golden Glove and Golden Ball seemed to be a little distant for Howard. However, after his performance against Belgium, he is right in the cross-hairs.
Candidate Three: Mathieu Valbuena
Who? I guarantee that most of you are saying this to the final pick in the top three, but let me tell you, Mathieu Valbuena has been a magician for France so far in the World Cup this year. Valbuena is a midfielder, so therefore he automatically won’t get the credit he deserves on TV or any media outlets because he does nothing flashy like scoring goals or making big saves. However, Valbuena has been very much the reason why France has advanced as far as they have. For Colombia, Rodríguez is the one who controls the game for them and also helps them score. France, on the other hand, has Valbuena who does this to a much greater extent, but in a different way. Valbuena has a 73% pass completion and a 37% cross completion in the World Cup so far. His pass completion is much higher than most and his cross completion may seem low, but that is because he has attempted the 4th most crosses thus far. He also has an assist to his name and averages 4 key passes a game, the only player that has not been eliminated yet that does better is Messi. Valbuena does the dirty work and dictates who gets what ball and how the game should be played. He will never be the one with the highlight goal in the Top 10 on SportsCenter, but rather the guy who puts in a hard days work and goes about his game with a humble attitude.
Who do you think should be the Top 3 for the Golden Ball and who do you think should win it? Comment and let us know!
Thanks for reading!
All stats and information courtesy of fifa.com and whoscored.com