All eyes in the sporting world are turning to Russia as the 2018 World Cup gets underway. But let’s face it…the excitement is not simply for the swell of national pride when your country wins a game or the purity of international competition. Those are great, but for millions, the World Cup is a fun time to work up a little extra “sweat” by putting a little money on your favorite country to take down the tournament.
But whether you like Brazil, Germany, Argentina or even the host nation Russia to hoist FiFA’s World Cup trophy in July that’s not the only competition going on during the World Cup. There is game within the game – which international superstar will win the 2018 World Cup Golden Boot?
The Golden Boot, previously named the Golden Shoe, is awarded to the player that ends up scoring the most goals in the tournament. Here’s a look as a few of the famous footballers who have a great shot at putting the ball in the back of the net.
Lionel Messi, Argentina – While there’s no such thing as a sure thing, especially when it comes to predicting something with as many variables at the World Cup, if you were looking for an odds-on favorite for the Golden Boot, it might be the global phenom that is Lionel Messi. Generally considered the best forward in the game. Messi is his country’s all-time leading goalscorer however a team under his leadership has never gone the distance. At 30 years old, Messi still has the drive and skills to make the opposition pay for their mistakes, but with the World Cup coming around every four years, this may be his last shot at adding this award to his trophy case. And legacy.
Neymar, Jr., Brazil – Brazil’s talented forward Neymar is never far from the on-the-field action. The off-the-field action on him winning the Golden Boot will be massive. Neymar, coming off an injury, is supposedly back to 100% health and eager to right the wrongs that befell the Brazilian team in 2014. Neymar is a creative goalscorer, savage from either side of the field, who will be given plenty of opportunities from his world-class teammates. At only 26 years old, Neymar, has plenty of international experience and is the third leading goal scorer in the rich history of Brazil football.
Antonine Griezmann, France – With France being one of the heavy favorites to make it to the finals of the World Cup it would figure that their centerpiece forward Antonine Griezmann would also be a heavy favorite to help them get there. Griezmann performed well for the French squad during Euro 2016 having earned the Golden Boot for that tournament. Known for his vision and work ethic, Griezmann may just find that heis able to break out, internationally, during the tournament in Russia by duplicating or even surpassing his Euro 2016 campaign.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal – It’s very likely that this Ronaldo’s last stand. At age 33, the global superstar likely has one last chance at cementing his legacy as of the greats in international competition. Often identified as the best Portuguese player of all time, there’s little doubt on whether Ronaldo has the skills to score goals. When Team Portugal is on the attack, it’s Ronaldo they’ll be looking to feed, but will they get enough opportunities for him to cash in and add one more golden trophy to his already jam packed trophy case.
The competition for the Golden Boot is, for sure, going to be one of the most entertaining races of the summer and sites like Footy Accumulators can provide the latest information on World Cup betting tips and Golden Boot odds.
The World Cup is set to entertain the planet, and the games don’t stop until the 2018 Final, scheduled on July 15.