With the World Cup fast approaching, there is a lot talk surrounding who will win the prestigious competition in Russia and which player will ultimately end up as top scorer come mid-July. Aside from lifting the trophy with his fellow countrymen, The Golden Boot Award is the most sought-after award an individual can win, and this summer the world’s best players will be battling it out with one another to clinch the trophy.
The aim is simple – score more goals than any other player throughout the month-long tournament. There are so many unbelievably talented players all vying for the same objective so whoever ends up winning the Golden Boot will have put in an unbelievable shift in Russia. With Cristiano Ronaldo & Lionel Messi both present at this year’s competition, the World Cup promises to be an incredibly interesting spectacle for fans all over the world this summer. Fortunately, bookmakers have already released the odds for Golden Boot winner, which only makes it easier to choose who your personal tip is.
Golden Boot Contenders
Below, we’ve taken a look at the some of the top candidates for the Golden Boot, what their current odds are to win it, and how we think they’ll fair throughout the competition. Give it a read and let us know what you think by tweeting us at @FootyAccums!
Lionel Messi for Argentina at 10/1 odds (BetVictor)
The world’s best player in our humble opinion, Lionel Messi is, putting it bluntly, a freak of nature. The 30-year-old Argentine has brought a whole new meaning to the words ‘world class’ over the past 10-15 years and has won pretty much all there is to win with Barcelona since his debut for the club back in 2004. Watching him play is nothing but a delight as he makes playing football at the highest-level look so effortless, frequently leaving even the best defenders for dead before burying home past the most elite goalkeepers the planet has to offer.
Messi was named player of the tournament in the last World Cup back in 2014 when his country narrowly missed out on lifting the trophy, losing 1-0 to Germany in the final at the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. That heart-breaking defeat to Joachim Low’s men will be at the forefront of his mind when he takes to the stage in Russia, and with the World Cup being the only trophy he’s yet to obtain, Messi will be looking to complete football this summer by adding that to his seemingly endless collection of silverware.
Neymar for Brazil at 10/1 odds (Betfred)
Since his move to PSG, Neymar hasn’t stopped scoring. He’s bagged an astonishing 29 goals in 30 matches, whilst also providing 19 assists for his teammates. The Brazilian magician is the most expensive player in world football and will only increase his value by winning World Cup 2018 with his nation this summer. Brazil are one of the favourites to lift the trophy in July and they’ve got a squad packed full of real quality in all areas of the pitch, so will be a force to be reckoned with each time they take to the field.
Leading the line will be the former Barcelona man, who’ll want all the attention on him this summer so will be going all out to ensure he’s the man that clinch’s the Golden Boot ahead of Ronaldo & Messi. On paper, Brazil should ace their group; they’ve got to play Croatia, Switzerland & Serbia, all of which are much inferior sides to them. With this considered, we can see Neymar running riot this summer.
Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal at 14/1 odds (Bet365)
Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo needs no explanation as to why he’s in this prestigious list. The 33-year-old Real Madrid superstar is always such a threat at any major international tournament, and in 2016 pretty much single-handedly guided Portugal to their first ever European Championships title. Argued by many as the world’s best ever player, Ronaldo has everything in his locker – pace, skill, strength, vision, ability in the air and deadly in set pieces. He finished qualifying for the World Cup as Europe’s second-top goalscorer, netting 15 times in 10 games – just 1 behind Poland’s Robert Lewandowski who finished on 16. Placed in a group alongside Spain, Morocco & Iran, Portugal will feel confident in their ability to qualify past the group stages this summer.
With Spain being such a dominant force, it’s unlikely that Portugal will top Group B, but finishing as runners-up is more than a realistic possibility, meaning Ronaldo will have at least 4 games to rack up a decent tally in. This will more than likely be his last World Cup with the next one after this being in 2022, leaving the former Manchester United man at thirty-six years of age. With this in mind, Ronnie will be looking to make the most of this year’s competition and what a solid way to end your World Cup career.
Antoine Griezmann for France at 14/1 odds (Coral)
Euro 2016 Golden Boot winner Griezmann heads into this year’s World Cup having endured a fantastic campaign for Atletico Madrid. The 26-year-old striker-turned-winger/attacking midfielder has bagged 23 goals in all competitions this term and is rumoured to join Manchester United next season for a fresh challenge in the Premier League. He is always such a threat for France in front of goal, and with some of the world’s most talented, creative players supporting him in the form of Paul Pogba, Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele, Griezmann won’t go short of chances in Russia.
Placed in a group alongside Australia, Peru & Denmark, France are favourites to win Group C. This will in turn set them up for another favourable tie with another group’s runner-up, so France are expected to go quite far this time out. With the potential to play a total of seven games in Russia, should they reach the final, Griezmann man will have plenty of opportunity to outscore his rivals this year. Will he repeat his performance in 2016 and come out as the tournament’s stand out player?
Harry Kane for England at 16/1 odds (Betfred)
England’s national treasure and the man we’re all depending on to win us the World Cup this summer, Harry Kane is currently fifth favourite to win the Golden Boot in Russia. He is arguably the best striker in world football at this moment in time. There isn’t one aspect of his game that needs any drastic improvement so he’ll prove to be a real handful against any defence he faces this summer.
With 35 goals scored in all competitions this term, Harry Kane is the deadliest marksman in English football, and has been for quite some time now. He’ll take some fantastic momentum into this World Cup, providing he makes a full recovery from the ill-timed ankle injury he picked up against Bournemouth at the start of March. With no other recognised goalscorer in the England squad, Harry Kane is the only player in with a real possibility of clinching the elusive Golden Boot for the Three Lions.
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