2022 World Cup Golden Boot odds: England, Brazil and Argentina stars among favourites for award
England will open their World Cup campaign when they face Iran next Monday (November 21)
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After months of anticipation, excitement and a bit of anxiety, the World Cup will finally kick off this week in a tournament very different to previous ones. While the tournament is usually played between seasons, when the sun is shining and fans can watch the match from a beer garden, players will this year jet off to Qatar in the middle of November.
After almost four months of Premier League action, club football has paused for six weeks as the World Cup takes over. While there are plenty sceptical about the tournament being hosted in the winter, it may be one of the most dramatic yet with such an array of talent on show, while both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo could be taking to the world’s biggest stage for the final time.
Brazil and Argentina are both hot favourites to lift the World Cup next month, while Gareth Southgate will be hoping it’s third time lucky after Euro 2020 final disappointment against Italy. England will take some of football’s biggest stars in the likes of Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden, with Kane looking to finish the competition with the Golden Boot award for a second time.
After the Three Lions were knocked out of the World Cup semi-final by Croatia four years ago, Kane finished as top scorer with six goals in Russia, with five players including Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo finishing in joint second place. This year will be no different for the Tottenham striker and a number of other strikers who will have their eyes on the prize - as well as the World Cup itself, of course. But who do the bookies have as favourites to win the Golden Boot in Qatar? We take a look at the current top six favourites:
Kane is currently the favourite to finish as the World Cup’s top scorer this winter and it comes as no surprise given his form for both club and country. After netting six in the previous World Cup, the forward went onto bag another four during the Euros - only one shy of Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of the leaderboard. Kane has been Mr. Consistent for England, scoring 51 goals in 75 caps for his country - and it also helps that he can take a brilliant penalty. The 29-year-old has continued his impressive form into this season, scoring 12 goals in 15 league appearances for Spurs and also claiming England’s third goal in their 3-3 draw against Germany last month.
England’s group stage opponents should pose no threat to Kane’s potential goal tally. All three of Iran, Wales and USA will struggle to prevent the forward from grabbing a goal, especially with the likes of Raheem Sterling, Bukayo Saka and Foden around him. While Kane is expected to have plenty of success from the group stage, his ability to win the golden boot may depend on how far Southgate’s side can get in the knockout stages. A potential quarter-final clash with France may bring Kane’s hopes to an end - paving the way for other candidates.
Mbappe has become one of the best players in the world during his time with his Paris Saint-Germain and is expected to carry the hype into the World Cup. Since joining the French club in 2017, Mbappe has scored over 180 goals for them - including 12 in 14 Ligue 1 matches this season. The forward is just as impressive for France and has claimed 19 goal contributions in 28 competitive fixtures for his country since making his debut five years ago. After coming close to the Golden Boot at both the previous World Cup and Euro tournaments, Mbappe will be desperate to finally take the trophy back to Paris this time round.
The 23-year-old has some tough teams to face in the group stage, though none that are likely to be able to stop him. Mbappe will have no problems in adding to his goal tally against Australia and Tunisia, while Denmark may prove a challenge for the Frenchman with the likes of Simon Kjaer, Joachim Andersen and Andreas Christensen in defence. Meanwhile, France will be expected to compete for a place in the World Cup final this year, meaning Mbappe could have plenty of time to earn the Golden Boot.
The 2022 World Cup could be Messi’s fourth and final one and it’s his last chance to win the tournament. Bar a narrow defeat to Germany in the 2014 final, Argentina have underperformed but their squad is arguably looking at its strongest this year.
There is no doubt that Messi will bag goals in Qatar and nobody can question that given his goal record for both club and country since he first broke onto the scene. With 90 goals in 164 appearances for Argentina, the forward is undoubtedly one of the world’s best ever goalscorers and his current form for PSG is also encouragement that he’s ready to be at his best this winter.
Argentina arguably have one of the ‘easiest’ groups on paper as they prepare to face Poland, Mexico and Saudi Arabia later this month. Unless a huge shock is on the cards, Messi’s side should ease through Group C and the PSG attacker will play a key part in that, netting a few goals in the process. The South American side are extremely likely to at least reach the semi-finals this year and that gives Messi the perfect opportunty to finish as top scorer for the first time.
Karim Benzema has been in the form of his life over the past year, scoring a whopping 39 goals and providing 27 assists for Real Madrid last season as he dragged them to Champions League glory. The striker’s Ballon d’Or winning form earned him a dramatic recall to the France squad after failing to earn a cap for his country since 2015 and has since become their main man up top, netting seven goals in nine appearances.
Having not attended a World Cup since 2014, Benzema will be raring to go this year and it would be a huge surprise to most if he wasn’t to challenge for the Golden Boot. Like Mbappe, the 34-year-old will have no trouble against his group stage opponents and has previously proven with Real Madrid that his goalscoring impact can single handedly win games for France.
Neymar has always been one of the world’s very best, however he looks to be having one of his best seasons in a PSG shirt this time round - claiming 20 goal contributions in Ligue 1 already and bettering his 2021-22 record. The 30-year-old looks to be in perfect form for a superb World Cup campaign with Brazil, who are currently favourites to win the tournament.
Brazil have easily one of the best attacks in the world and Neymar is near enough guaranteed goals in most of his matches with the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Vinicius Jr and Antony surrounding him, while Serbia, Switzerland and Cameroon will be no match for the former Barcelona star. Neymar’s side will be disappointed with anything but success in the final and the forward is likely to be firing on all cylinders in Qatar.
Ronaldo has plenty to prove after a terrible year or so with Manchester United. The striker is undoubtedly one of the best players in the history of football, however it isn’t working out for him at the moment. Despite ending last season as the Red Devils’ top scorer with 24 goals, he has only managed three this season - two of which came against minnows FC Sheriff in the Europa League.
While Ronaldo’s club form has been poor, he continues to shine for Portugal and has netted 117 goals in 191 caps since making his debut in 2003. The 37-year-old scored six goals to help Portugal qualify for this tournament and will be desperate to have a stellar World Cup campaign as he looks to find himself a move away in January. The trophy may not be the only thing on the line for Ronaldo in Qatar and that could mean we could see him return to his best for six weeks or so.