The competition for the Golden Boot at this years World Cup in Russia is a potentially fierce one.
There’s an abundance of top class marksman taking the stage for the World’s biggest football party, but predicting who’ll come out on top can be a tricky business.
Out in front as the bookies favourite is Lionel Messi at 10/1. The Argentine Captain will turn 31 during the tournament and will be desperate to make a mark on what will probably be his last meaningful World Cup. However, Argentina are a shabby looking side and I can’t see them progressing very far.
Sometimes you don’t even need to get out of your group to be top goalscorer though; Oleg Salenko scored a record five in one group game at USA 1994, making him joint top scorer with Hristo Stoichkov.
If we look at this years groups, France seem to have a ridiculously easy go of it in Group C with Australia, Peru and Denmark. Antoine Griezmann could be a really good shout at 16/1 if he can kick off his summer with a cheeky hat-trick against Australia. An even bigger outside punt would be French Wonder-Kid, Kylian Mbappe at 40/1.
Underneath Messi and above Griezmann are Neymar (12/1) and Harry Kane (16/1).
Kane is a very interesting one, if he can ratchett up a tally against Panama and possibly Tunisia, then he could well be in the running. Belgium make up the fourth team in that Group G, so Romelu Lukaku (25/1) could feesibly pull off the same trick as Kane.
We must never rule out Ronaldo of course, he’s 16/1 and will have opportunities to score aganist Morocco and Iran and maybe even in Portugal’s opening game versus Spain.
Spain should go far in the tournament, as will the Germans, but whose going to score the goals?
Spain and Germany are such a collective unit they don’t rely on individuals, unlike Cavani and Suarez for Uruguay, Lewandowski for Poland and Aguero and Messi for Argentnia.
Which leaves us with Brazil. The Selecao have a relatively easy group – Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia and will progress far into the latter stages so it could well be a Brazillian foot that slips into the Golden Boot. With Neymar looking unlikely to be fully fit, I would have a bet on Gabriel Jesus at 20/1.