With the World Cup now all but done and dusted and in the history books, time to take a look at how things are standing in this year’s Golden Boot race. The Golden Boot is, of course, awarded to the player who has scored the most goals in the tournament proper, and has historically been won by some legendary players in football. Brazilian Ronaldo won it in 2002, for example, while the last English player to do so was Gary Lineker in 1986. This time around another Englishman is in the running – and no prizes for guessing which one! Harry Kane had a wonderful start to the campaign, and has netted six goals on England’s path to the semi-finals where they would eventually bow out to a superior Croatia side.
There are now just two games remaining in the tournament, with the third-place playoff taking place on Saturday ahead of the final on Sunday. This means every striker still in the hunt has just one chance left to make their mark and secure the award. Harry Kane, as mentioned before, sits top of the pile with six, with his Belgian counterpart on Saturday, Romelu Lukaku, sitting second on four. This basically means Lukaku needs a brace to draw level or a hattrick to overtake Kane’s tally so far. Even then, if he does get three goals he must hope that Kane fails to find the net to retain his place. Denis Cheryshev of Russia and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo have four as well, but their sides have already been eliminated.
The only other players now feasibly in with a shout at the award are France colleagues Antoine Griezmann and Kylian Mbappe, who have three each, but again – a hattrick would only pull either of these players level with Kane as things stand right now, and a hattrick in a World Cup final isn’t something that happens too often at all. If there is a side to manage it this year it would arguably be France, but Croatia’s stern and stubborn defence (that is intended as a compliment) will certainly have something to say about that! Dejan Lovren has had a fine World Cup so far, and alongside the likes of Šime Vrsaljko they are a tough cookie to crumble quite frankly.
Of course, any player still involved CAN end up with the award, but realistically it will take a bit effort from anyone to overthrow Kane as this summer’s top goalscorer. The fact that Lukaku is going up against England means he may have a goal in him, but the Three Lions will likely be defending to the hilt to try and do their bit to help Kane lift the Golden Boot. Griezmann and Mbappe are a lethal pairing of course, but Croatia will be taking the game to France in their bid for a first ever World Cup win. Both matches remaining are so difficult to call, but should make for a thrilling end to this wonderful tournament.
Do you know your international players better than the next man? Prove it with World Cup fantasy football here!