World Cup 2022 top goal scorer: who could win Golden Boot?

December 2, 2022 6:10 am

The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is nearing its knockout phase.

One of the top awards players compete for is the Golden Boot, awarded to the player with the most goals in the tournament.

The number of assists by a player is considered in the case of a tie for goals scored. If multiple players are tied on both counts, the winner is decided after factoring in which player played the lowest minutes.

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England’s captain Harry Kane bagged the prize in the 2018 edition of the World Cup in Russia, where he scored six goals and led his team to the semi-finals. Below is an overview of contenders in the race for top scorer in the 2022 World Cup:

France’s talisman failed to find the net as Tunisia recorded a famous upset over Les Bleus in their final Group D match. The 23-year-old scored against Australia in their opener and bagged a second-half double against Denmark as France booked their knockout spot.

He could add to that as his country faces off against Poland in the last 16. Poland’s all-time top scorer Robert Lewandowski will also be looking to better his count.

The England striker has enjoyed a dream start to his World Cup campaign in Qatar.

Rashford’s place in the squad was uncertain a few months ago due to form and fitness, but the Manchester United forward moved up the Golden Boot standings after he netted twice in England’s rout of a Gareth Bale-led Wales side.

Rashford’s teammates Phil Foden (Manchester City), Jack Grealish (Manchester City), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) and Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) also featured on the scoresheet during the group stage.

The Dutch forward has managed to find the net regularly in Qatar so far, as the Netherlands progressed to the last 16 after finishing top of Group A.

The 23-year-old Gakpo has been influential in his club PSV Eindhoven’s run to the knockout stages in the Europa League and is a target of transfer speculation with top European clubs said to be vying for his signature when next summer’s transfer window opens.

Ecuador’s all-time top scorer, nicknamed “Superman” at home, scored the first two goals of the World Cup in their opening match against hosts Qatar at the Al Bayt stadium as the South Americans ran out winners.

Valencia added a third in a deserved 1-1 draw against the Netherlands, but will not be able to improve his tally as Ecuador failed to reach the knockout stage after losing 2-1 to Senegal to finish third in Group A.

The Argentina great is playing in what he has said is probably his last World Cup. The 35-year-old opened his account by burying a spot-kick in a shock Group C loss to Saudi Arabia, before scoring one and assisting Enzo Fernandez in an emotionally-charged win over Mexico.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has enjoyed a trophy-laden career at both club and personal level but has so far failed to deliver a long-awaited World Cup for his country, something fans around the world would like to see change this time around.

Messi’s arch-rival, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, will also be eyeing the Golden Boot as he became the first player to score in five World Cups after his goal against Ghana in their Group H opener.

Portugal’s run in the World Cup in Qatar so far has been overshadowed by controversy surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo and his acrimonious departure from Manchester United.

But 28-year-old Bruno Fernandes, who has long played second fiddle to his superstar teammate, stepped out of Ronaldo’s shadow by scoring twice against Uruguay, after he set up two goals in Portugal’s 3-2 win against Ghana.