The 2018 FIFA World Cup has started. The biggest question on everybody’s mind is about the Golden Boot probables. So here they are.
Some of the greatest names in soccer are ready for the biggest sporting event on the planet. In Russia and all parts of the world it will be a party for 32 days starting from 14th June, 2018.
The main aim of football is to score goals and leading the line for a football team is perhaps the most privileged role for a footballer. Being a striker gives a footballer a lot of scope to score goals as they are the nearest to the goal net.
Every football lover knows everything that needs to be known about Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Both are strikers in their national team. They have won every single Ballon d’Or Award (Golden Ball) since 2008. They both are unstoppable, but unfortunately have never been able to win a World Cup title for their country.
Do remember that strikers are the kings of the game and in this World Cup too they will play an important role as they ever have and will be in the race for the Golden Boot.
As we observe and watch the biggest soccer party on the planet, let us look at the strikers who can create havoc for the opposition and win the Golden boot.
Neymar – Brazil
In 2014 WC, he was last seen stretchered off the field in the quarterfinals against Colombia after taking a knee to the back which resulted in a fractured vertebrae for Neymar, ending his first World Cup campaign. Brazil’s next game without its bright star was a 7-1 home loss to Germany. A game Brazil soccer fan will never forget.
Two years later, Neymar leads Brazil to its first-ever Gold Medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, healing some wounds of disappointing World Cup.
At the age of 26, he already sits third on Brazil’s all-time goal scoring list jointly with Romario (55) after scoring 55th goal against Austria on 10th June, 2018. He is trailing behind only Ronaldo (62) and Pele (77).
Neymar without any doubt is the star of the Brazil Team will be one of the most phenomenal performers of the tournament.
Brazil finished first in the South American World Cup qualifying and is considered one of the big favorites to win the trophy.
Can Neymar help the Selecao win sixth trophy?
Antoine Griezmann- France
France will be most entertaining team to watch at FIFA 2018, all because of the joy exhibited on the field by Griezmann along with Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.
Six goals and two assists by Griezmann help lead France to a second-place finish in the Euro2016 and earned him Player of the Tournament and Euro Cup Golden Boot honours. He was in brilliant form for Atletico Madrid (football club for which he plays) last season, scoring 29 goals across all competitions, including an impressive two-goal performance against Marseille in the Europa League final.
With a strong midfielders Paul Pogba / N’golo Kante and assisted by Nabil Fekir and Kylian Mbappe in the forward position, Griezmann could emerge stronger in FIFA 2018 than Euro 2016.
Harry Kane – England
Next on the list of Golden Boot probables is Harry Kane. In 2014, England national team for the first time since 1958 had been knocked out in the group stages of FIFA World Cup.
Kane, who had not even made a Premier League start until April of that year, has risen into stardom as one of the top goal scorers on the planet. Year after year Kane has gone on to lead Tottenham (football club for which he plays) with improved Premier League results.
After scoring 21 goals in 34 games in his first major season 2014-15, Kane improved upon his goal-scoring stats – 25 in 2015-16, 29 in 2016-17 and 30 goals in 2017-18.
Kane scored 41 goals across all competitions in 2017-18.
At Euro 2016, Kane struggled to replicate his Tottenham form with England National Team. He failed to score at the tournament despite being main striker of the England team.
With Raheem Sterling and Dele Alli behind the young striker, there is a good chance that Russian citizens will experience a ‘HurriKane’ during FIFA World Cup 2018.
Thomas Muller – Germany
At age of 28 only Thomas Muller will be representing Germany in the World Cup for the third time. With 10 goals, Muller is eighth on the all-time World Cup goal scoring list, the highest among any active player.
He is the type of player that can play a variety of positions up front, depending on the formation and always be at the right place at the right time.
Muller has scored 38 goals in 90 matches for Germany. At the 2010 World Cup he scored five goals. He was named the ‘Best Young Player of the tournament’ and won the Golden Boot as the tournament’s top scorer.
At the 2014 World Cup he played a major role in helping the team win the trophy, scoring five goals. He received the ‘Silver Ball’ as the tournament’s second top player and the ‘Silver Boot’ as the second top goal scorer.
Muller is an attacking player with tremendous stamina and the poaching ability to collapse the opposition’s defence.
Hope he will play an important role for Germany in repeating its 2014 performance in 2018 FIFA World Cup and win the Golden Boot award.
Spain’s national team have come a long way since their 5-1 defeat to Netherlands in 2014 FIFA World Cup and elimination by Italy in Euros in 2016. Spain’s team for FIFA 2018 is very balanced side with the best midfielders in the world.
But one man from Spanish squad to watch out for is Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez or Isco as he is known.
Italy star Marco Verratti has bowed down to the Spanish magician after the clash between the two countries, and has admitted that he felt like clapping for him during the game.
Blessed with effortless dribbling ability, Isco gets into dangerous areas and scores goals.
With 6 goals for the national team, there is not much doubt that Isco will be star of Spanish team in Russia.
Lionel Messi – Argentina
A terror for European defences for over a decade and proving himself with FC Barcelona time and again, Lionel Messi is still missing a major achievement with Argentina’s national team.
Messi was awarded the Golden Ball of WC2014 for being the best player of the tournament.
Messi, who has scored 61 goals for Argentina, has never scored in the knockout phase of any of 3 World Cup editions he has played so far.
At 31, Messi will be motivated more than ever, as FIFA 2018 almost certainly be his 4th and last chance to win the World Cup for his country and the Golden Boot.
Cristiano Ronaldo –Portugal
In WC 2006 Portugal finished fourth, in 2010 they were eliminated by Spain in the round of 16, in 2014 they could not even make it out of the group stage.
In 2016, Cristiano was able to guide his nation to the first major title in its history, the Euro Cup.
Ronaldo is currently the all-time top scorer of his nation, scoring 81 goals in 149 appearances.
The 4-time Ballon d’Or winner, Ronaldo will be aiming higher this time in Russia, may be both the World cup and the Golden Boot.
What is the Golden Boot Award?
FIFA gives post tournament awards like “Golden Ball” to Best Player of the Tournament , “Golden Glove” to Best Goalkeeper, “Best Young Player”, “ FIFA Fair Play Trophy “ and of course “ FIFA World Cup Trophy” to the Champion country.
- At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Colombia forward James Rodriguez won the Golden Boot for, scoring six goals in five matches as his side reached the quarter-finals, where they lost to hosts Brazil.
- In 2010 Thomas Müller of Germany won the award for scoring 5 goals in the tournament.
- 18 recipients of the Golden Boot award have played for a team that finished either first, second or third in World Cup.