The award, in truth, was in the bag before the final. Kylian Mbappe had excelled in Russia: just 19-years-old and the key man in France's potent attack. When he scored from long distance against Croatia to seal the title, the praise was effusive and widespread.
Mbappe, then, was the obvious choice for the Young Player award. But such was his brilliance, other impressive youngsters were overshadowed, left in the dust as eyes were drawn towards Mbappe's blistering speed and unerring finishing.
Players aged 23 or under were eligible for the award and there were plenty who emerged as potential stars of the future at the World Cup. Here are five who might have taken home the highest accolade had Mbappe not shone so brightly: