Just in case it might have escaped the attention of anyone, there is a major soccer event happening right now. The 2022 FIFA World Cup has commenced in Qatar, while proceedings began with a dazzling opening ceremony, featuring none other than American actor Morgan Freeman and his unmistakable voice.
Unfortunately for the Qatari hosts, the national team of this Middle East country was beaten by Ecuador. Their veteran captain Enner Valencia bagged himself a brace of goals, powering the South American side to a triumphant start. As a result of those two strikes, the 33-year-old is now firmly in the chase for the Golden Boot, the award presented to the leading goalscorer at the tournament.
Although it would seem unlikely that Valencia will claim that prize, he has established an early benchmark for other attacking players to chase. Thus undoubtedly makes the latest World Cup top scorer betting all the more intriguing, especially when backed with guides and extra information provided by the experts at SBO. They have highlighted all the leading candidates for the Golden Boot, making it possible to identify the current outright favourites.
Harry Kane – England
Insofar as the majority of oddsmakers are concerned, Harry Kane stands the best chances of winning the Golden Boot award. Why? Because he has a proven track record of achievement, having scooped the same award at the previous 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, when England reached the semi-finals before being eliminated by Croatia following extra-time.
Excusing the inevitable pun usage, Kane is clearly more than able when it comes to meeting his expectations, given that England are also tipped as potential winners of the 2022 World Cup. They are tipped as one of the top five teams at the tournament, making them strong candidates to go all the way and lift the trophy, providing Kane hits the target regularly, of course.
Kylian Mbappe – France
Widely regarded as one of the most exciting young players around, blessed with lightning pace and a keen eye for goals, Kylian Mbappe is now the primary attacking threat for the French at this 2022 World Cup. This is because one day ahead of the tournament, his experienced international colleague Karim Benzema was forced to withdraw, leaving the reigning 2018 champions without a key component within their attacking unit.
France do have other options available to support Mbappe in the forward line, including Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele, both of whom play top level football in Spain. Nevertheless, much of the pressure to score goals will remain firmly at the feet of 23-year-old Mbappe, who will also be keen to land himself the Golden Boot award, providing the tip of the lance for a French team determined to succeed at this tournament.
Lionel Messi – Argentina
No player enjoys quite so much adoration as Lionel Messi, the remarkably talented Argentina star who has just one aim. Incredibly, despite having won every other major trophy and individual honour in the game, the 35-year-old has never lifted the World Cup trophy. Aside from any personal award such as the Golden Boot, making his team the tournament champions will be his top priority.
This will also be the last opportunity for Messi to claim the biggest prize in football, having confirmed he will retire from international football, once his involvement with Argentina concludes at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. This will be our final opportunity to watch his amazing talents in action, and on the biggest stage of them all, making him the most important creative and attacking outlet for his national team.
Neymar Junior – Brazil
No team has lifted the World Cup trophy more than Brazil, as their national football team has won the tournament on five previous occasions, although current superstar Neymar has yet to achieve this honour. Although head coach Tite has named nine attacking players in his World Cup squad, the biggest name and most important amongst them is undoubtedly Neymar, who is expected to be front and centre of their forward momentum.
Going in search of goals and of course, the Golden Boot award, the biggest challenge for Neymar could be trying to match the world-class reputation he carries, despite always being in the shadow of legendary Brazilian predecessor Pele. The latter is the all-time top goalscorer for Brazil with 77 goals in 92 appearances, between 1957 and 1971. For his part, Neymar is just two goals behind with 75 in 121 appearances, from 2010 to present.
Outside Chance – Anyone
No, that isn’t the name of a player and any competing team, although there is the possibility an emerging star could claim the Golden Boot award. There may be plenty of surprises at this 2022 FIFA World Cup, while any number of players are capable of becoming the top goalscorer. Whichever teams and players you are backing, enjoy the thrills and excitement of this wonderful tournament, as the story of the competition unfolds.