The final week of the 2022 World Cup includes a string of individual battles alongside the race for team glory in Qatar.
Kylian Mbappe is currently leading the Golden Boot race, ahead Lionel Messi and strike partner Olivier Giroud, as the PSG superstar looks to edge out his club and international teammates.
However, despite the huge attention on Mbappe, the battle at the other end of the pitch is equally fascinating, as part of the Golden Glove showdown.
All four keepers involved semifinal action are in the running to win the award, with Argentina’s Emiliano Martinez going through to the final after victory against Croatia and their stopper Dominik Livakovic, while France skipper Hugo Lloris is up against Morocco’s Yassine Bounou in the second semifinal.
MORE: World Cup 2022 top goal scorer tracker: Updated Golden Boot rankings
What is the World Cup Golden Glove award?
The Golden Glove award is a relatively new feature of the World Cup, in comparison to the Golden Boot, with FIFA officially including ahead of the 1994 World Cup.
The award was originally named the Lev Yashin Award, in recognition of the legendary former Soviet Union goalkeeper, between 1994 and 2006.
The first award was scooped up by Belgium Michel Preud’homme (1994) before being won by Fabian Barthez (1998), Oliver Kahn (2002) and Gianluigi Buffon (2006).
After the 2006 tournament, the award was renamed as the Golden Glove, and has remained as that since.
How is the World Cup Golden Glove awarded?
Whilst the primary measure for the Golden Boot is the number of goals scored by a player, the Golden Glove is decided by FIFA’s technical committee.
Domestic Golden Gloves are awarded based on the number of clean sheets kept by a goalkeeper, but the World Cup criteria examines other areas too, including penalty shootout saves and overall contribution.
Does a Golden Glove equal World Cup glory?
Based on the seven World Cup Golden Glove awards given out since 1994, four recipients have also won the tournament, in a personal and team double accolade.
Barthez and Buffon clinched glory in 1998 and 2006 respectively, before the pattern was followed by Spain’s Iker Casillas in 2010 and Germany captain Manuel Neuer in 2014.
Who will win the World Cup 2022 Golden Glove?
The four goalkeepers in last four action appear certain to be the shortlist for the 2022 award with Martinez and Livakovic ever present for Argentina and Croatia.
Dominik Livakovic – Croatia
Livakovic has been thrust into the spotlight following some huge performances in Qatar with one goal conceded from three group stage matches.
Dominik Livaković has been everywhere 🧤 pic.twitter.com/RHR75PWHuS
— B/R Football (@brfootball) December 9, 2022
His real moment to shine has come in the knockout stages, with three shootout stops against Japan, and one against Brazil, as Croatia battled on into the last four.
However, the Dinamo Zagreb keeper gave away a contentious penalty and conceded three goals as Croatia were eliminated by Argentina in the semifinal.
Yassine Bounou – Morocco
Sevilla star Bounou conceded just once in two group games after missing the 2-0 win over Belgium due to a late injury issue.
In behind the best defence in competition, Bounou has kept back-to-back clean sheets against Spain and Portugal in the knockouts, and saved two shootout penalties against La Roja.
Emiliano Martinez – Argentina
Martinez’s shield rattling has played a crucial part of Argentina’s drive to the semifinals with a key role in their shootout win over the Netherlands in the quarterfinals.
The Aston Villa stopper is a hugely popular figure in the Argentina camp and he repelled Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis in the shootout.
Corazón , pasión , trabajo y cabeza 🇦🇷❤️ pic.twitter.com/iuwU1BXz4x
— Emi Martínez (@emimartinezz1) December 9, 2022
Martinez managed to keep a clean sheet in Argentina’s 3-0 win against Croatia in the semifinal and will now progress to the final of the tournament.
Hugo Lloris – France
Despite being the most experienced of the quartet, Lloris is the least likely to win the award, even if France do retain their crown.
He has failed to keep a single clean sheet in Qatar, with goals conceded against Australia, Denmark, Poland and England, and he was relieved to see Harry Kane’s second penalty fly over his crossbar in the last round.
Who won the World Cup 2018 Golden Glove?
Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois will not defend his crown from Russia 2018 after Belgium bowed out in the group stages in Qatar.
His win took Belgium level with Germany (2) as the most successful recipients of the award, with Livakovic, Bounou and Martinez aiming to be their country’s first, if Lloris does not double up on Barthez’s 1998 success.