World Cup Top Scorer Odds: Harry Kane Leads Golden Boot Betting
The 2022 World Cup might still be more than four months away, but betting sites are already accepting wagers on most of the main markets.
One of those is the Golden Boot, a race which should involve some of the best attacking players on the planet – and perhaps even a surprise package or two.
Harry Kane won the prize in Russia four years ago, scoring six times as England reached the semi-finals for the first time in a generation. A return of six goals was enough to win the prize (or a share of it) in 10 of the last 11 World Cups.
The exception was in Japan and South Korea in 2002, when Ronaldo found the back of the net on eight occasions as Brazil lifted the trophy for a fifth time.
The most goals a player has ever scored at a single World Cup was Just Fontaine with 13 in 1958, a record which will surely never be broken.
If two or more players finish level in first place, the Golden Boot is awarded to the player with the most non-penalty goals, and then the player with the most assists.
The latter is what happened in 2010, when Thomas Muller edged out Diego Forlan and Wesley Sneijder after each forward had scored five goals. If the assists are also level, the winner is whoever played fewer minutes across the tournament.
So, let’s take a look at some of the runners and riders to finish as the top scorer in Qatar later this year.
Kane The Favourite To Retain Award He Won In Russia
Kane is the 8/1 favourite with football betting sites to win the Golden Boot at the 2022 World Cup.
If he were to do so, the England captain would become the first player to retain the award in back-to-back tournaments, and the first to win it more than once.
The fact that no one - not even all-time greats like Eusebio, Gerd Muller or Ronaldo - have done it before suggests that Kane will struggle to pull off the feat.
In his favour is his status as England’s penalty-taker, plus a reasonably favourable draw in the group stage.
But Gareth Southgate’s side were hugely disappointing in the recent international break, and the manager’s tendency towards conservatism could hamper Kane’s chances.
There is battle value elsewhere in the Golden Boot market, so let's delve into it some more.
Mbappe Seeks Second World Cup Medal And First Golden Boot
Kylian Mbappe was sensational at the 2018 World Cup, playing a starring role in France’s triumph.
Deservedly named the Young Player of the Tournament in Russia, Mbappe scored four times - including France’s victory-sealing fourth goal in the final.
Now 23 years old, he has become a more rounded footballer and reliable finisher since then, hence his position as the second-favourite at 9/1 with bet365.
France’s meeting with Denmark in Doha on in their second game could decide which of the European teams tops Group D.
That will be a tough test for les Bleus, but Mbappe will have the opportunity to fill his boots against Australia and Tunisia.
He will not necessarily be France’s chief goal threat, though. Karim Benzema is in the form of his life right now and the centre-forward can be backed at 12/1 to score more goals than anyone else in Qatar.
Messi Eyes Swansong After Finally Winning International Trophy
Lionel Messi finally got his hands on his first international trophy at senior level last year, as Argentina lifted the Copa America in Brazil.
For the first time in a while, Messi’s priority appears to be his country rather than his club.
Many people’s pick as the greatest player of all time could not round off his career in any better way than by inspiring Argentina to World Cup glory this winter. Messi was also the top scorer at the Copa America last summer.
Given that Argentina are a team transformed under Lionel Scaloni, and that they will face one of the weakest sides in the group phase in Saudi Arabia, odds of 14/1 with William Hill on Messi winning the Golden Boot look attractive.
Ronaldo, Lukaku And Neymar Outsiders Despite Scoring Records
Cristiano Ronaldo is the highest scorer in the history of international football.
There might be question marks over his future at club level but, barring an untimely injury, he will be leading the line for Portugal in Qatar.
Priced at 14/1, he is not among the favourites primarily because of doubts over Fernando Santos’ side.
Romelu Lukaku (18/1) would no doubt have been available at a shorter price had his return to Chelsea not turned out so disastrously. Belgium are a fading force and that will count against the Inter man.
Neymar, available at 20/1, plays for the 2022 World Cup favourites in Brazil. The question mark over the Paris Saint-Germain forward is whether he as an individual is capable of outscoring every other player at the tournament.
Who Is This Year’s Version Of Muller 2010 Or Rodriguez 2014?
No one really fancied Thomas Muller or James Rodriguez to finish as top scorers in 2010 and 2014 respectively, and the history of the World Cup is littered with examples of other surprise winners.
The odds on betting apps would suggest Robert Lewandowski (50/1) matches that description.
That is not due to the Poland international’s ability, but rather the likelihood that his nation will be eliminated in the group phase.
Alvaro Morata is not a reliable goalscorer, but given that he is Spain’s go-to striker it is a little surprising to learn that he is available at 50/1.
Raheem Sterling commands the same price despite his track record of consistent performances in an England shirt.
Sadio Mane at 66/1 is an intriguing option with Senegal seen as possible dark horses, while his replacement at Liverpool Darwin Nunez is listed at 100/1.
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