World Cup 2018 Golden Boot: Kane, Lukaku & the race for top scorer in Russia

Having dominated the scoring charts in the Premier League in recent years, Harry Kane has finally translated that to international level and England are reaping the benefits. The Tottenham striker was handed the captain’s armband by Gareth Southgate ahead of the World Cup and he is repaying that faith in abundance, making history along the way.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 10/11

Romelu Lukaku arrived in Russia as Belgium’s all-time leading goalscorer and the Manchester United striker has further cemented that legacy at this World Cup as the Red Devils attempt to live up to expectations. The 25-year-old has already broken records at the tournament and looks primed to surpass the national record of five World Cup goals set by his compatriot Marc Wilmots.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 7/2

While he is undoubtedly one of the greatest goalscorers ever to grace the planet, Cristiano Ronaldo’s record at the World Cup was abysmal – until Russia 2018. Portugal’s record-holder for both goals and appearances had scored just three goals in total across three tournament before taking to the field in his country’s opener against Spain. The rest is history: a remarkable hat-trick against La Roja was followed by the goal that saw him overtake Ferenc Puskas as the top international scorer in European football history.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

Like Cheryshev, Artem Dzyuba was not a starter for Russia in their opening game, but the Zenit forward has forced his way into the reckoning after showing that he has the ability to find the net on a regular basis.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 66/1

Despite not being a starter for Russia in their opening game, Denis Cheryshev has emerged as one of the World Cup’s breakout stars and he now appears to be a key component for the hosts in their push for glory. The Villarreal winger has shown plenty of guile thus far and is a surprising contender in the race for the Golden Boot.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 80/1

It was a spectacular display from the young forward as he played a pivotal role in Les Bleus’ last-16 clash against Argentina as he scored twice and was involved in the build-up for the first goal.

France won 4-3 against the South American side to end Lionel Messi’s hopes of at long last winning a World Cup, and Mbappe was the star of the show.

Mbappe announced himself as a superstar following his match-winning brace.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 8/1

Diego Costa has established himself as one of the leading marksmen in European football over the past five years and he rose to the occasion for Spain at the 2018 World Cup. The Atletico Madrid striker does not possess the attributes that defined the success of the 2008-2012 era, but La Roja are able to play to his strengths by delivering the ball to him early and allowing him to trouble defences. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to add to his tally after Spain were eliminated by Russia in the last 16.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

The Paris Saint-Germain striker netted twice in Uruguay’s last 16 tie against Portugal to take his tally up to three so far in Russia. 

Cavani netted the opener early on in the game before Pepe equalised for Portugal – but the Uruguay international slotted in finely soon after the break to take the lead 2-1.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 25/1

Tunisia’s captain opened his World Cup account by scoring a consolation in stoppage time in the 5-2 defeat by Belgium in his side’s second group game. He then earned Tunisia victory in their final game against Panama as his 66th minute effort secured a 2-1 win as he became the first player from his country to score more than once at a World Cup.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

Eden Hazard is Belgium’s captain and talisman, so it is little surprise to see him at the forefront of their campaign to secure glory on the international stage. The Chelsea playmaker has struck up an impressive relationship with Lukaku in attack and it has been particularly fruitful for the Red Devils. Hazard was not far behind the Manchester United man in terms of goals in qualifying and he has continued that trend in Russia.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 33/1

Philippe Coutinho is competing at the World Cup for the first time in his career and the 26-year-old is already showing himself to be a vital part of Brazil’s pursuit of a record sixth world title. As his goals in Russia have demonstrated, Barcelona star is capable of scoring from distance and is also adept at timing his runs so that he arrives in the box at the right moment to finish a move.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 50/1

Luis Suarez is appearing at his third World Cup and will be hoping to have a happier one than four years ago, when a bite on Giorgio Chiellini resulted in a lengthy ban. The Barcelona striker has started in scoring form in Group A with goals against Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 40/1

Brazil’s talisman Neymar took a while to get going at the World Cup after winning the race to regain fitness ahead of the tournament. 

Having failed to find the net in the opener against Switzerland the Paris Saint-Germain star struck in the dying moments of his side’s 2-0 win over Costa Rica before giving his side the lead in their last 16 encounter with Mexico.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 10/1

Sergio Aguero scored Argentina’s first and last goals at the World Cup, netting against Iceland in the opening game of Group D and grabbing a late consolation goal in their last 16 defeat to France.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

Liverpool’s star forward Mohamed Salah was hobbled by a shoulder injury heading into Russia 2018 picked up in the Champions League final. But that didn’t stop him from scoring a penalty in a comeback against Russsia and against Arab rivals Saudi Arabia.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

Yerry Mina may have struggled since joining Barcelona, but he is proving himself to be a real hero for Colombia. After not featuring in the opening-game defeat by Japan, the centre-back started against Poland and headed home the first goal in the 3-0 victory. He again proved his aerial prowess in the decisive final group fixture against Senegal, rising well to head home the only goal to send Colombia through to the last 16 as Group H winners.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

Ahmed Musa has made a habit of scoring doubles at the World Cup, following up his 2014 brace against Argentina with another against Iceland in 2018. The Leicester City forward is undoubtedly one of the key men for Nigeria and he will be hoping to add to his tally.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

Defenders are not usually known for their goalscoring abilities, but England centre-back John Stones has shown himself to be a serious threat from set-pieces in Russia. The Manchester City man may not be likely to challenge his compatriot Kane for the Golden Boot, but he will be eager to contribute more goals as the Three Lions go in search of a second world title.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 250/1

The Sweden captain earned his side an opening-game win in the World Cup when his penalty saw off South Korea. He then struck a superb spot-kick in their final group fixture against Mexico to put Sweden 2-0 up and, in doing so, became the first defender to score two penalties in regular time at the same World Cup since current Spain coach Fernando Hierro in 2002.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

Mile Jedinak is part of a very exclusive group as one of Australia’s 13 World Cup goalscorers and his strikes in Russia mean that he has now moved behind Tim Cahill as the second-highest Socceroos scorer at the tournament.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

The Tottenham forward scored two of his country’s three goals at the World Cup. He scored a late consolation in the 2-1 defeat by Mexico in their second game before putting the seal on a remarkable 2-0 victory over Germany in their final group game. With Germany trailing 1-0 deep into stoppage-time, and with goalkeeper Manuel Neuer high up the pitch, a long ball sent Son clear and he had the simple task of scoring into an empty net.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

Antoine Griezmann has emerged as one of France’s key players and he continues to show why he is so important to Les Bleus as he adds to his goal tally.

The Atletico Madrid man has struck twice from the penalty spot and will be eager to add more to his haul before the tournament ends.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 25/1

Since surging to a third-place finish at the 1998 World Cup, Croatia have regularly been identified as ‘dark horses’ to win any tournament they qualify for and, in Russia, one man who is sure to be key to any success is captain Luka Modric. The Real Madrid playmaker scored a sensational long-range effort against Argentina, but then missed the chance to score his third of the tournament when his penalty in extra-time against Denmark was saved by Kasper Schmeichel. However, that didn’t cost Croatia a place in the quarter-finals as they won in a shootout, with Modric converting his penalty.

Odds to win Golden Boot: 100/1

The attacking midfielder scored his first goal of the tournament when pulling the score back to 1-1 during Japan’s 2-2 draw with Senegal in their second group match. Inui notched his second goal of the World Cup with a well-struck effort to help his side into a shock 2-0 lead over Belgium in their last-16 encounter.

Odds to win Golden Boot: N/A

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