Many sources (such as RSSSF ) lists the golden ball from the World cup to be awarded first time in 1978 or 1982. However others (such as http://www.topendsports.com/events/worldcupsoccer/golden-ball.htm states it was awarded since 1930 ). In the fifa.com webpage once they were listed since 1982, but in some articles descriptions they state some players wining it before 1978 (such as Pelé in 1970) . Now official websites sometimes just upload information from articles in internet and not by a research or document from its own federation. When you look for photos of the golden ball prior to 1982, you can't find any photo. For example, you can't find a photo of Mario Kempes holding the supposed 1978 golden ball award, or a photo of Pelé holding the 1970 golden ball. Did the award really exist before 1982 or was just a "best soccer of the tournament" announcement that now we call golden ball ?

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    Perhaps some additional information can be found in Wikipedia article and references therein. (However, Wikipedia says that: "The current award was introduced in the 1982 FIFA World Cup," Yet the article lists winners starting with 1962. So probably a bit more digging will be needed to clarify this.)
    – Martin
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 8:43
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    I edited that article myself sometimes :) . Thanks for the reference though
    – Pablo
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 11:43

1 Answer 1


After searching a bit on net found a photo of Pele holding a Golden Ball in this link (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/worldcup2014/article-2655035/World-Cup-Golden-Boot-Golden-Ball-The-history-awards.html) which also states the award has been given out since 1930 first being Jose Nasazzi (Uruguay).

Many other website does say the award being given prior to 1978 but I was unable to find any photos prior to this Pele one(1970). Pele with Golden Ball Source: Dailymail

  • I appreciate the research, but to be honest, I think that article is wrong. It cant be appreciated very well in white and black, but that doesnt look like an award in the shape of a ball made of gold, that looks like a real soccer ball. It is hard to think a website like that could be wrong, but you have to realize that either that article is wrong, or some info stated in fifa.com is wrong (they listed the award since 1982 in a page)
    – Pablo
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 20:39
  • Take a look at how the golden ball award looked in the 1982-2014 editions. Unless previous to that they had a very pour design, I dont think that photo shows a real golden ball award but it's just a photo of Pele with a regular soccer ball webindia123.com/Sports/football/fifaworldcup/golball.htm
    – Pablo
    Commented Jun 11, 2017 at 20:47
  • @Pablo Maybe you are right but in a long search found nothing more than this one. Will search for more. Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 0:22
  • you had my vote up anyway. I dont mark it as accepted because it's doubtful
    – Pablo
    Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 0:25
  • @Pablo I will research more on this topic to make it accepted. Thanks Commented Jun 12, 2017 at 0:27

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