Croatia owed their place in the Final in large part to their supremely gifted No10. His two goals and one assist almost pale in comparison to his tireless work in the midfield, where he used his incisive vision to great effect in guiding his team, setting the tempo, and exploiting gaps in opposition defences. He proved equally effective in the Final, dictating the pace as Croatia made a fast start to the match.
Golden Glove Award: Thibaut Courtois
Belgium owed their historic third place as much to the imperious Courtois as their incisive front line and tenacious defence. The imposing keeper made the most of his large frame and outstanding reflexes to come to his side’s rescue time and again. Beaten only once by eventual champions France in the semi-finals, he turned in another commanding performance in the play-off for third place.
FIFA Young Player Award: Kylian Mbappe
The teenage prodigy did not disappoint in his first world finals. The 19-year-old drew gasps of admiration from the watching world with his bursts of acceleration and searing pace. In putting two goals past Argentina he became the youngest scorer of a brace in a World Cup knockout match since Pele in 1958, while his strike in the Final sealed victory for Les Bleus.