Top 5 Golden Boot contenders at FIFA World Cup 2022
FIFA World Cup 2022 will kick off in less than a week and some of the most renowned footballers in the world will grace the quadrennial spectacle in Qatar, looking to win the ultimate top prize with their nation.
While Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi will be competing in their fifth World Cup, which would, in all likelihood represent their final crack at winning the illustrious prize, the likes of Harry Kane, Robert Lewandowski, Sadio Mane, Thomas Muller, Alvaro Morata, Darwin Nunez, will all be gunning for glory and judging by the kind of star names on offer, two things would certainly be guaranteed to football fans across the globe – entertainment, and goals, plenty of them.
England skipper Kane won the Golden Boot at the World Cup in Russia in 2018, although his six goals were not enough to help the Three Lions land the top prize. The Englishman will be hoping to retain the individual prize, and hope that his troubles can help end his nation’s long wait for the coveted World Cup trophy.
However, there will be plenty of others who will not just hope to get their hands on the World Cup, but also hope to land the prestigious Golden Boot award by finishing as the highest goal-scorer in Qatar 2022.
Here are the top five contenders for the Golden Boot at FIFA World Cup 2022 in no particular order.
#5 Harry Kane – England
Having won the Golden Boot once already, Kane will be in the running to retain the coveted prize, as he will be in charge of finding the back of the net as consistently as he can for England. The skipper of Three Lions is in fine goal-scoring form, having rattled the net 11 times already in the Premier League with Tottenham.
The 29-year-old is only 3 goals behind Wayne Rooney as England’s all-time leading goal-scorer, which speaks volumes about his reputation as one of the best goal poachers around the globe.
During the European qualifying rounds, Kane troubled the scorers 12 times, and those goals came in just 33 attempts, a further testament to his lethal potency in front of the net, averaging a strike every 49 minutes.
#4 Robert Lewandowski – Poland
The Polish hitman is as prolific as they come when it comes to club football, but Robert Lewandowski criminally lacks the kind of service to justify his talent in front of goal at the international level. That being said, Poland finds itself in a group comprising great footballing nations such as Argentina, Mexico as well as Saudi Arabia.
The onus will be on the 34-year-old who continues to defy age. Since moving to Barcelona, the marksman has netted 18 times across all competitions for his new club, averaging a goal every 82 minutes.
Lewandowski will be carrying the hopes of an entire nation on his shoulders, and he will certainly be amongst the conversation for the highest goal scorers in Qatar 2022. If he can help his side reach the deeper stages of the competition, then he will have further chances of rubbing shoulders with all the other star names aiming to win the Golden Boot.
#3 Kylian Mbappe – France
Kylian Mbappe will be one of the hot favourites to pick up the Golden Boot in Qatar
When Les Bleus won the World Cup in Russia in 2018, Mbappe was a teenager, billed to conquer the world, four years on, a lot has changed, and he is arguably close to hitting his peak. Kylian managed four goals last time at the biggest stage of them all and will be gunning for more this time around.
Only Lewandowski has scored more goals since the previous World Cup (211) than Mbappe (168), in Europe’s top five leagues. In the year 2022, the highest-paid player in the world has justified his worth, by scoring the most goals in Europe’s team five (42), outscoring everyone else.
#2 Lionel Messi – Argentina
The Argentine phenom nearly took his side to World Cup glory back in 2014 but came agonisingly short in the final against eventual champions Germany. Incredibly, in his stellar trophy-laden career, Messi has laid his hands on almost every trophy but the World Cup trophy, and the Golden Boot.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner had a difficult first at PSG last year but has rediscovered his golden touch this term, scoring 12 goals in 18 games in all competitions. Qatar 2022 will be Leo’s final bow at World Cup, and he cannot be ruled out from winning the tournament’s top goal-scorer award.
The 35-year-old has finally gotten the monkey off his back by winning his eagerly awaited first international trophy, and now he will be gunning to finally win the trophy that he has been craving the most.
#1 Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo will also be among the running for the Golden Boot, although his form has been anything but free-scoring this season. The 37-year-old has endured a tough time of late but has finally got back to goal-scoring exploits with Manchester United. The Portuguese ace will be hoping to bounce back to his best because that’s what Ronaldo has done throughout his career.
Having scored just three goals and contributing two assists at the club level, many wouldn’t back the five-time Ballon d’Or winner to finishing among the highest goals-scorers in Qatar, but that’s what he has excelled at, having proved his doubters wrong many times throughout his career.
This will also be Ronaldo’s final chance of winning the World Cup, and thus one can imagine that will give everything in his power to get a chance to lift the coveted title on December 18.