Golden Boot Award History
There’s something special about scoring the most goals at a World Cup. Often times it can be a jumpstart for young players to take their careers to the next level, while at the same time it can cement world class status for those who are already at the top of the game.
The original name of the award was the “The Golden Shoe” , first introduced at the 1982 World Cup in Spain. Since then, 10 different players have been awarded top goal scorer at the World Cup. The only time the award was shared between two players was at the 1994 World Cup in the USA, when Hristo Stoichov and Oleg Salenko both tallied 6 goals. It wasn’t until the 2010 South Africa World Cup that name of the prize was changed to “The Golden Boot”, when Thomas Muller sprung onto the scene as a 20-year old becoming the first player to win the boot.
With the 2018 World Cup set to take the global stage, we’ll take a look at some familiar favorites that could win the Golden boot, as well as a few possible sleeper picks.
2018 World Cup Golden Boot Favorites
Lionel Messi – Argentina – 9 to 1 Odds
Lionel Messi is an all-time great and arguably the best player in the world at the moment. For 8 consecutive seasons, Messi has been able to score at least 40 goals every season with his club F.C Barcelona. For his country, the messiah has 77 goals in 146 appearances.
Messi leads the attack on an Argentina side who is among the nations favored to win the World Cup this year in Russia. Even with a variety of attacking options that includes and is not limited to the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, and Angel Di Maria, they will still rely heavily on the magic of Messi.
Neymar – Brazil – 9 to 1 Odds
Neymar had what was a fantastic season for PSG cut short by a foot injury. Before the injury he was able to tally 18 goals in only 20 appearances.
The Brazilian superstar has something to prove this year, as we all know Neymar’s 2014 World Cup was cut short by a devastating back injury against Columbia. If not for the injury he may have went on to win the Golden boot after already tallying 4 goals in that tournament. If healthy, expect the 25 year old celebrity forward to take his game to another level in Russia.
Antoine Griezmann – France – 14 to 1 Odds
The Frenchman from Atletico Madrid has been accustomed to shining on the biggest stages lately. Griezmann has scored at least 25 goals in each of his last 4 seasons for Madrid. He won the Golden Boot at the 2016 Euro competition, and tallied 2 goals in this year’s Europa League Final. If he can provide some magic this summer, he has a real case to be mentioned among the legends of this game. His chances of competing for the Golden Boot at this year’s World Cup are even greater with France having the talent to make a deep run.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal – 14 to 1 Odds
Imagine what success in this year’s World Cup would mean for Cristiano Ronaldo. He’s already arguably the best in the world and one of the greatest players all-time, he has 5 Champions League titles, 5 league titles and one European championship. Like Messi he has scored at least 40 goals in 8 consecutive seasons, furthermore in 6 of those seasons he has tallied 50 or more goals. Because Portugal favor a more defensive approach to the game, his goal scoring tally may be limited this World Cup as it has been in the past (Ronaldo has 3 goals in the last 3 World Cups combined), but you can never count out the ability of CR7.
Romelu Lukaku – Belgium – 18 to 1 Odds
The striker who represented Manchester United this past year leads the attack on a dangerous Belgium side that can strike at any point in a match. Lukaku had 27 goals in all competitions for the Red Devils, while leading his country in goals during qualifiers with 11. Even though he’s not on the level of the likes of Messi, Ronaldo or Neymar, he features enough playmakers around him to go on a scoring spree in Russia.
CTS 365 2018 World Cup Golden Boot Sleepers
Harry Kane – England – 16 to 1 Odds
Harry Kane has proved over recent years to be one of the more dangerous scorers in the world. In his most recent campaign with Tottenham, he provided 41 goals in 48 games. Over the last 4 years he has tallied 135 goals in 187 appearances. Much like Ronaldo’s case with Portugal, England has more of a ball control / defensive approach to their game, which will limit the chances Kane will get to find the back of the net.
Thomas Muller – Germany- 33 to 1 Odds
Muller has a knack for producing on the big stage with 5 goals in each of his last 2 World Cups with Germany. His most recent seasons for his club Bayern Munich however have not been up to his potential, with 24 goals combined in the past 2 seasons, an average rate for most but far off of his regular pace. Even so, he still had 6 goals in qualifiers and is still one of the best poachers in the world.
Radamel Falcao – Colombia – 35 to 1 Odds
At 32 years old, this will likely be the last shot for Radamel Falcao to reach World Cup glory with Columbia, another favorite to win the World Cup. Falcao was able to overcome adversity in Manchester United with 2 bounce back seasons at his new club Monaco in which he scored 52 total goals. El Tigre will be supported by 2014 Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez, Carlos Bacca and Ivan Cuadrado.
Kylian Mbappe – France – 35 to 1 Odds
Mbappe is only 19 years old but is already a star in Europe. He finished with 26 goals in 2017 and 21 goals in 2018, playing for Monaco and PSG. With an attacking field that features a golden boot favorite Antoine Griezmann, Ousame Dembele, and Olivier Giroud, opposing defenses can’t cover everyone, meaning Mbappe will have the opportunity to be a real dark horse in this tournament, showing the world what he can do and take home the golden boot.
Mohamed Salah – Egypt – 40 to 1 Odds
2017-2018 may very well have been the year of Mohamed Salah. In one of the most competitive leagues in the world, Salah scored 44 goals in 51 matches for Liverpool in the Premier league, while also leading them to the Champions League final. Salah’s season ended with him exiting the Champions League final with a shoulder injury, however he is on track towards recovery and will be relied on by an entire nation to score crucial goals, something he’s proved capable of.