The 2022 FIFA World Cup will feature some of the most well-known and elite football stars of today.
The very cream of the crop will be on display in Qatar as the top teams from across the globe compete to lift the famous trophy in Lusail on December 18.
The 2018 Golden Boot winner Harry Kane will look to lead England once again as the Three Lions search for World Cup glory. However, there are plenty of other top players hoping to cement themselves forever into World Cup folklore.
Current Ballon d’Or holder Karim Benzema and young superstar Kylian Mbappe will both hope to pour on the goals for 2018 champions France, while aging veterans Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both have one final chance to hoist the coveted trophy for their nations.
MORE: France squad for 2022 FIFA World Cup facing multiple injury woes
Odds to win Golden Boot at 2022 World Cup
England skipper Kane is the leading contender to win the top goal scorer award at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, but he has plenty of competition.
Mbappe is right up there in terms of the bookmakers’ odds, as one of the best young players around the globe. His international teammate Benzema, fresh off his Ballon d’Or win, is also among the top picks, while Mbappe’s club teammate at PSG, Brazil star Neymar, is another popular choice.
Messi and Ronaldo – likely appearing in their farewell World Cups – also appear on the list as well, with people believing the two superstars could put on one last international show.
Odds via Caesars (USA), Sports Interaction (Canada), and SkyBet (UK). Odds current as of November 1, 2022.
MORE: Tite leads loaded Brazil squad into 2022 World Cup as heavy favorites
Picks, tips for Golden Boot at 2022 World Cup
It’s hard to find anyone else in the World Cup field who comes into the tournament in better form than Neymar.
While he’s cooled off somewhat since his white-hot start to the season with PSG, he remains a consistent threat for the French champions despite the presence of other world-class stars like Mbappe and Messi alongside him.
With Brazil, he’s the main man. Sure, the team includes an incredible wealth of attacking talent like Vinicius Jr, Richarlison, Rodrygo, Antony, Roberto Firmino, and Raphinha, but Neymar will be the go-to option up front. Given his incredible form at the moment, all Neymar has to do is stay fit and lead Brazil to a deep run in the tournament, and he may well emerge as the top goal scorer.
Pick to win 2022 World Cup Golden Boot: Neymar (+1200)
🇧🇷 Can he cement his place amongst the greats?
🏆 @neymarjr looks to join the list of legendary Brazilians who have lifted the #FIFAWorldCup pic.twitter.com/D3caXSAc9E
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 8, 2022
There are two things that make a good World Cup top goal scorer candidate: a glutton of chances and a deep run in the tournament. Memphis Depay of the Netherlands should have both.
First of all, Depay will be the main focal point of the Netherlands attack. Cody Gakpo could well snatch a few goals from out wide, but Depay will remain the first pick through the middle for his country.
In a wide open group stage, the Netherlands should be able to feast upon the likes of Qatar and Senegal, and while Ecuador will present a greater challenge to break down, there’s little chance the Netherlands will succumb to a major upset and fail to qualify for the knockout stage.
From there, the Netherlands will likely need to outscore opponents to advance, and Depay will be critical to their chances. The Dutch defense boasts Liverpool stalwart Virgil van Dijk but is a little threadbare otherwise, so Depay will be needed to supply the goals. He has a chance to challenge for the award.
If you want an even bigger longshot, look to Depay’s teammate Cody Gakpo, who comes into the tournament in sensational form with PSV. He has nine goals and 12 assists in 14 Eredivisie matches this season, and he scored twice for the Netherlands in their Nations League exploits earlier this year, so he has national team form as well. He’s a solid pick at such big odds.
Longshot picks to win 2022 World Cup Golden Boot: Memphis Depay (+2500), Cody Gakpo (+9800)
While big-name players will garner much of the traffic for the bookmakers, there are two household names that bettors should avoid.
France’s Mbappe will surely be awaiting his chance to help Les Bleus defend their title, but he has a lot working against him. First of all, France will have to work around a host of critical injuries if they are to make another deep run in the tournament, with key midfielders Paul Pogba and N’Golo Kante both missing from the squad.
Additionally, France boss Didier Deschamps is known for his somewhat negative tactics, and even faced critics in 2018 for running to the World Cup title with a talented squad that was often deployed in a safety-first manner. Also working against Mbappe is the presence of another top goalscorer in Benzema, who will surely be competing with his teammate for goalscoring chances.
Messi, similarly, faces problems of his own. Chiefly, Argentina are a very defensive squad that like to keep hold of the ball and therefore will face low opposition defensive blocks that can be difficult to break down.
Finally, and most importantly when it comes to Messi, the Argentine star has changed his game. At 35, no longer is Messi a top goalscoring threat. Instead, he has changed into more of a creator this year than an outright finisher, meaning his first job will be to tee up teammates Lautaro Martinez and Angel di Maria in front of goal – something he does better than most.
Messi will get his opportunities for sure, but it’s hard to imagine they will be enough to finish as the tournament’s top goal scorer.
Stay away from: Lionel Messi (+1400), Kylian Mbappe (+900)
What is the record for most goals scored at a FIFA World Cup?
The most goals ever scored in a single FIFA World Cup tournament is by Just Fontaine of France, who scored 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup in Sweden.
Fontaine accomplished this astonishing feat in just six matches, with France reaching the third-place match, where they beat Germany to finish third.
The former Nice and Stade de Reims striker got his tournament started with a bang, bagging a hat-trick against Paraguay in a 7-3 win to start Group 2. He scored another two in a 3-2 defeat to Yugoslavia before scoring his sixth of the tournament against Scotland to ensure his country advanced to the knockout round.
In the 1958 quarter-finals, Fontaine scored two more times to see France past Northern Ireland 4-0. France would fall 5-2 to eventual champions Brazil in the semi-finals, but Fontaine wouldn’t succumb to elimination without scoring one more time, giving him nine goals for the tournament. In the third-place match against Germany, determined to cement his place in history, Fontaine scored four times to seal a 6-3 victory and cement himself as the top goalscorer in a single world cup all-time, a record which still stands today.
Previous World Cup Golden Boot winners
Six goals has been good enough to win the Golden Boot in every single World Cup since 1978 except one – when the great Ronaldo scored eight goals for Brazil in 2002.
The last time anyone scored double digits in a World Cup was in 1970 when Gerd Muller did it for Germany in Mexico.
The first ever Golden Boot winner was Guillermo Stabile of Argentina who scored eight goals in the inaugural 1930 World Cup, although it ended in defeat to hosts Uruguay in the final. He was helped with an additional game, since Group 1 included four teams while the other three groups only had three.
|2010||South Africa||Thomas Muller||Germany||5|
|1974||W. Germany||Grzegorz Lato||Poland||7|