World Cup Golden Boot Winner
The time for World Cup talking is almost over. Almost but not quite and although the possible and probable names have been discussed when it comes to winning the 2022 finals outright, there is also a major personal accolade which is up for grabs.
One that comes in the shape of the Golden Boot and with this award being handed out to the player who scores the most individual goals throughout the tournament, it is a prize that is the pursuit of the globe’s greatest attacking players.
With a litany of world-class talents now descending on Qatar, their primary objective will be to help their respective nations in the bid for global supremacy and the second will be to top the scoring charts themselves.
Sometimes a player can even win the double and if this does prove to be the case in, a talisman’s goals can make an even greater contribution when it comes to winning one of the richest prizes in world sport.
Now though, we are going to focus on riches for our readers. With the Golden Boot market being the widest open of the lot, it is time to narrow that focus and highlight who is in the hunt for such a prize.
Golden Boot Contenders
Harry Kane – England 7/1 – World Cup Golden Boot Winner
It is difficult to win the Golden Boot once, it is impossible to win twice or at least it has been up to now. This means this is either bad news for Harry Kane before the tournament truly gets underway or he is ready and waiting to make history.
Of course, the Tottenham forward is looking to make history for a different reason in Qatar and with Wayne Rooney’s England scoring record now in touching distance, this is another personal accolade that Kane will be looking to win.
The big question is whether manager Gareth Southgate will unlock the shackles in a bid to unleash his prized asset on the likes of Iran and Wales. If this does prove to be the case, it may allow the 29-year-old to boost his bank account early on.
Kylian Mbappe – France 8/1 – World Cup Golden Boot Winner
Before the World Cup in Russia four years ago, Kylian Mbappe was not necessarily unknown but at the same time was not a household either. That all changed by the time France beat Argentina and the now PSG forward announced himself on the biggest stage.
Already a World Cup winner before turning 20, the player who was coveted by Real Madrid in the summer decided to stay in Paris and with Ligue 1 requiring less in terms of a workout, Mbappe will arrive in Qatar in rather fine fettle.
While the only thing that is perhaps working against this precocious talent is the fact there are so many other options for manager Didier Deschamps to choose from. That is not to say the man in question will not start. It is more a case of France’s goals being shared elsewhere.
Lionel Messi – Argentina 10/1 – World Cup Golden Boot Winner
Surprisingly Lionel Messi is yet to win the Golden Boot. Then again, he is yet to win the World Cup either and when you look at the ludicrous amount of talent that this man has, that is arguably the biggest surprise of all.
Many are wondering if 2022 will finally be his and Argentina’s year. After winning the Copa America last summer, there is no doubt that Messi and his teammates now have a taste for major international success.
There is also no doubt that this man has hit form at just the right time, the only thing that may work against him is a deeper lying role. If he is more provider than scorer, backing him in this market may constitute a losing bet.
Neymar – Brazil 12/1
Next up we go to a striker who will be plying his trade for the tournament favourites. The favourites are Brazil, and the striker in question is Neymar. Undoubtedly the crown jewel when it comes to the home of samba football, can he help the nation end their 20-year exile from the top?
That is the big question and with Neymar being flanked by the likes of Richarlison and Gabriel Jesus in attack, there is no doubt that manager Tite has an embarrassment of riches to choose from and these should avoid embarrassing results.
While because there are so many players that are capable of finding the net for Brazil, Neymar may face the same issue as his PSG teammate Mbappe. An undercut for the main man, may lead to a lesser number of total goals.
Karim Benzema – France 16/1
In terms of the issue that both Mbappe will face, the main reason for such a caveat is Karim Benzema and with the Real Madrid forward undergoing something of a renaissance as of late, he will add another string to France’s attacking bow.
However, Benzema may have problems of his own to deal with. Problems that are currently steeped in fitness or the lack thereof and with the 34-year-old a doubt for the opening clash with Australia, he may also give his nearest Golden Boot rivals a head start.
Then again, should he manage to pass a fitness test, there is no doubt that he will be one of the first names on the French team sheet. Should this be the case, he is just as likely to be the first name on the score sheet as well.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal 20/1
He may only be sixth in the list of favourites, but it would be remiss to overlook Cristiano Ronaldo. After the recent interview with Piers Morgan, he is persona non grata at Manchester United, but he is still Portugal’s great hope in Qatar.
Quite simply, this man has a massive point to prove. What better way to show your paymasters that your talents are being wasted than by winning the Golden Boot. While at the same time, winning the award would also place Ronaldo in the January shop window.
With 117 international goals to his name and a world record at that, even a period of ineffectiveness will not slow this phenomenon down and should you be looking for a value bet, backing the 37-year-old may make the most sense of all.
Prediction – Harry Kane – England 7/1
Sometimes it can be folly to opt for the favourite but with the favourite being Harry Kane, it is incredibly difficult to make a case against him. After the heartbreak of the European Championships last summer, the Tottenham talisman has international vengeance on his mind.
You only need six goals to usually win the Golden Boot and Kane is more than capable of delivering that by the time a probable meeting with France emerges at the quarterfinals. Whether England can build on events in Russia, I am not sure. However, I am sure Kane ends up as top scorer in Qatar.
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