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The World Cup is a competition that sees its top scorers catapulted into the limelight. A player can go from anonymity from everywhere outside of their home country to one of the most sought after footballers in the world with a good showing at the World Cup Finals.
Previous competitions have seen the likes of Gerd Muller, Gary Lineker, Ronaldo and Miroslav Klose bring home the golden boot for most goals scored at the end of the tournament. Who’s in contention for the prize at Russia 2018? Here’s a look at some of the top contenders.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Ronaldo, one of the greatest goal scorers of all-time has won everything there is to win at club level, and at the European Championships in France 2016, managed to add a European trophy to his collection. The one trophy he has not won, and the one that could cement his place as perhaps the greatest footballer of all-time, is the World Cup trophy. This being the case, the Real Madrid forward will be a top contender for the Golden Boot at the tournament. Ronaldo is one of the footballer to bet on during the 2018 World Cup.
Lionel Messi, Argentina
Argentina’s qualifying campaign did not go particularly well, but there is no doubting that their diminutive forward Lionel Messi will be aiming to have his name on the Golden Boot and help his country to glory at international level.
After coming close in 2014 – just missing out to the trophy in a 1-0 final loss to Germany – Messi will be hoping to go one further this year and, like Ronaldo, cement his claim to being the greatest of all-time.
Thomas Muller, Germany
One player who absolutely loves playing at the World Cup is Thomas Muller for Germany, who always finds himself amongst the goals if he plays. He left the tournament in South Africa in 2010 with five goals and was just pipped to the honour by James Rodriguez in Brazil 2014.
Germany, for a side with ridiculous depth and quality, don’t necessarily have a standout striker in the general sense, but if Muller plays well and starts scoring, he’ll be looking to take home the golden boot.
His goal scoring exploits at the European Championships have surprisingly been in stark contrast to his world Cup form, but Muller will be hoping to stake a claim for the golden boot for the third successive tournament at Russia 2018.
Romelu Lukaku, Belgium
The former Everton striker has got off to a great start to his career as a Manchester United player, and is likely to be the man leading the line for the Belgian National team at Russia 2018. If he can maintain his club form and stay injury-free, he will have a huge part to play in Belgium’s World Cup. If the Belgian national team’s individual stars can start playing together as a team, there’s a high probability they will go far in the tournament, and that Lukaku will find his name on the scoresheet several times.
Harry Kane, England
England’s form at international competitions is almost universally disappointing, but their star striker Harry Kane has shown he is a tremendous goal scorer over the past four seasons. If England are to have a good tournament, they will need Kane in firing form.
The Tottenham Hotspurs striker has never been too far away from the scoresheet in recent years, but how well he will do at the tournament is inexplicably linked with how England perform, so if they can go far in the tournament – which previous form would suggest they will not – Kane would be a shoe-in for top scorer.
At the previous World Cup in his native Brazil, when Neymar got injured his nations international side fell apart in disastrous scenes that seen them lose to Germany 7-1 in the semi-finals.
In the time since then, Neymar continued his meteoric rise through world football with Barcelona before becoming the most expensive transfer of all-time in Summer 2017 with a move to PSG. Both him and his country will be hoping of performing well in the tournament, and if he remains fit he will definitely be a contender for top-scorer at the competition in Russia.
Antoine Griezmann, France
Atletico Madrid’s star striker Antoine Griezmann will also be hoping to rack up several goals at the World Cup in 2018. The Frenchman – winner of the Golden Boot at Euro 2016 with 6 goals is part of a very strong French squad, with plenty of firepower at the top with Arsenal duo Olivier Giroud and Alexandre Lacazette also aiming to get amongst the goals.
If Griezmann can translate his club form into international form, he may be onto a winner.
Alvaro Morata, Spain
Spain are hoping to regain the form that seen them crowned World Cup Champions and European Champions – twice – in the space of four years between 2008-2012.There squad has undergone a makeover in recent times, and early signs are promising.
Chelsea striker Alvaro Morata will more than likely be leading the line, and there’s no doubt about it, he knows how to find the net.
Alexis Sanchez, Chile
Chile, winners of the Copa America in 2016 and finalists in the confederation cup in 2017, will be hoping to push on and make a claim for the world cup trophy if they can make their way into the competition. While they are outsiders, if they’re to have any chance they will need their star man – Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez – to perform throughout the tournament. The highly sought after player is a proven net finder, and will be Chile’s star player coming into the tournament.