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Messi and Ronaldo's top competition in the race for the Golden Boot at FIFA World Cup 2022

Updated : November 18, 2022 03:59 PM IST

The Golden Boot or the Golden Shoe is awarded to the top goal scorer in a football world cup. This time in Qatar, an array of deadly strikers will take the pitch and dream of holding the coveted individual trophy. Here is a look at ten forwards who are sure to light up the mega event and entertain the masses with their goal-scoring abilities.

 Lionel Messi, Argentina |  In his own words, Argentina captain Lionel Messi is playing his last FIFA World Cup. Messi has achieved everything in football except for the glory of the World Cup. Heading into the Qatar World Cup, Messi has enjoyed good goal-scoring form for his club PSG. The star forward has netted 12 goals and provided 14 in 19 club appearances this season.  Messi is Argentina's all-time record goal scorer. With the kind of goal-scoring form that Messi is in and the strong squad that Argentina has for the World Cup, Messi is sure to be one of the forward players to watch out for in this World Cup. (Image: Reuters)
Lionel Messi, Argentina | In his own words, Argentina captain Lionel Messi is playing his last FIFA World Cup. Messi has achieved everything in football except for the glory of the World Cup. Heading into the Qatar World Cup, Messi has enjoyed good goal-scoring form for his club PSG. The star forward has netted 12 goals and provided 14 in 19 club appearances this season.  Messi is Argentina's all-time record goal scorer. With the kind of goal-scoring form that Messi is in and the strong squad that Argentina has for the World Cup, Messi is sure to be one of the forward players to watch out for in this World Cup. (Image: Reuters)
 Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal |  Unlike Messi, Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has had to endure a rough start to the 2022-23 campaign after being denied regular game time at Manchester United. Ronaldo has scored only 3 goals and provided 2 assists for the Red Devils before the Qatar World Cup. But discount Ronaldo at your own peril. Portugal's all-time top scorer tends to bounce back at times when the fingers are being pointed at him. Ronaldo loves to perform at his best on the big stages, so don't be surprised if he dusts off his poor form and starts netting goals from the first match onward. Like Messi, Ronaldo too is looking to add the elusive FIFA World Cup trophy to his glittering cabinet.  (Image: Reuters)
Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal | Unlike Messi, Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo has had to endure a rough start to the 2022-23 campaign after being denied regular game time at Manchester United. Ronaldo has scored only 3 goals and provided 2 assists for the Red Devils before the Qatar World Cup. But discount Ronaldo at your own peril. Portugal's all-time top scorer tends to bounce back at times when the fingers are being pointed at him. Ronaldo loves to perform at his best on the big stages, so don't be surprised if he dusts off his poor form and starts netting goals from the first match onward. Like Messi, Ronaldo too is looking to add the elusive FIFA World Cup trophy to his glittering cabinet.  (Image: Reuters)
 Neymar Jr., Brazil |  Brazil's superstar Neymar Jr. has spent most of his professional career living in the shadows of Messi and Ronaldo. But Qatar World Cup could be the moment for Neymar to leave the two senior footballers behind and claim the World Cup trophy before them. Brazil head to the FIFA World Cup 2022 as the number 1 ranked team in the world. Like their South American rivals Argentina, Brazil too boasts of a strong squad capable of going all the way. Neymar has enjoyed a flourishing 2022-23 season as he has scored 15 goals and assisted in 12 from 20 appearances for club side PSG. In the Brazil setup, Neymar has quality forwards to support him. Watch out for Neymar in Qatar. (Image: Reuters)
Neymar Jr., Brazil | Brazil's superstar Neymar Jr. has spent most of his professional career living in the shadows of Messi and Ronaldo. But Qatar World Cup could be the moment for Neymar to leave the two senior footballers behind and claim the World Cup trophy before them. Brazil head to the FIFA World Cup 2022 as the number 1 ranked team in the world. Like their South American rivals Argentina, Brazil too boasts of a strong squad capable of going all the way. Neymar has enjoyed a flourishing 2022-23 season as he has scored 15 goals and assisted in 12 from 20 appearances for club side PSG. In the Brazil setup, Neymar has quality forwards to support him. Watch out for Neymar in Qatar. (Image: Reuters)
 Vinicius Jr., Brazil |  The Brazilian squad is brimming with attacking players but one young player who is surely going to catch people's eyes is Vinicius Jr. Vinicius will be making his World Cup debut in Qatar but he is not new to big stages. Last season he scored the winning goal for Real Madrid in the Champions League final. In the semifinals, he netted a goal against Manchester City. This term he has netted 10 goals and provided 5 assists for the Spanish giants. The 22-year-old is lightning-fast on the field and takes no time to launch a counterattack. Vinicius pace and clinical finishing makes him a sure-shot starter in Brazil's playing XI. (Image: Reuters)
Vinicius Jr., Brazil | The Brazilian squad is brimming with attacking players but one young player who is surely going to catch people's eyes is Vinicius Jr. Vinicius will be making his World Cup debut in Qatar but he is not new to big stages. Last season he scored the winning goal for Real Madrid in the Champions League final. In the semifinals, he netted a goal against Manchester City. This term he has netted 10 goals and provided 5 assists for the Spanish giants. The 22-year-old is lightning-fast on the field and takes no time to launch a counterattack. Vinicius pace and clinical finishing makes him a sure-shot starter in Brazil's playing XI. (Image: Reuters)
 Karim Benzema, France |  Karim Benzema had a phenomenal 2021-22 season in which he netted 44 goals and was involved in 15 assists for Real Madrid. Benzema's clinical finish in front of the goal was one of the reasons for Real Madrid to win La Liga, the Champions League, and the UEFA Super Cup. In the French jersey, Benzema fired Les Bleus to the UEFA Nations League title. Benzema's goal-scoring ways and title wins for Real Madrid and France culminated with him winning the Ballon d'Or.  As France look to defend their World Championship title in Qatar, a lot rests on the big shoulders of Benzema. (Image: Reuters)
Karim Benzema, France | Karim Benzema had a phenomenal 2021-22 season in which he netted 44 goals and was involved in 15 assists for Real Madrid. Benzema's clinical finish in front of the goal was one of the reasons for Real Madrid to win La Liga, the Champions League, and the UEFA Super Cup. In the French jersey, Benzema fired Les Bleus to the UEFA Nations League title. Benzema's goal-scoring ways and title wins for Real Madrid and France culminated with him winning the Ballon d'Or.  As France look to defend their World Championship title in Qatar, a lot rests on the big shoulders of Benzema. (Image: Reuters)
 Kylian Mbappé, France |  In 2018 Kylian Mbappé became the first teenager since Pele to net a goal in a World Cup final as he netted in the ball against Croatia in the Frace vs Croatia World Cup final. Since then  Mbappé's reputation has grown in leaps and bounds. Along with Benzema, if France has one superstar to bank on it is Mbappé. The 23-year-old has fired in 19 goals in 20 matches for PSG. For France, Mbappé has scored a staggering 28 goals and assisted 21  times in  59 matches. Mbappé's blistering pace makes him a menace for the opposition defenses. (Image: Reuters)
Kylian Mbappé, France | In 2018 Kylian Mbappé became the first teenager since Pele to net a goal in a World Cup final as he netted in the ball against Croatia in the Frace vs Croatia World Cup final. Since then  Mbappé's reputation has grown in leaps and bounds. Along with Benzema, if France has one superstar to bank on it is Mbappé. The 23-year-old has fired in 19 goals in 20 matches for PSG. For France, Mbappé has scored a staggering 28 goals and assisted 21  times in  59 matches. Mbappé's blistering pace makes him a menace for the opposition defenses. (Image: Reuters)
 Harry Kane, England |  England squad is always in the midst of all the media attention for any multinational tournament that it is part of. The expectations from the Three Lions for the Qatar World Cup are high and one man who can help deliver is Harry Kane. The England captain and no.10 has scored 13 goals in  22 matches for his English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs. Kane has an impressive record for England too. The forward has been involved in 65 goals (51 goals and 14 assists) in just 75 appearances. Although in the runup to the World Cup, England have been in poor form but, England coach Gareth Southgate can count on his striker to get the Three Lions roaring in the desert. (Image: Reuters)
Harry Kane, England | England squad is always in the midst of all the media attention for any multinational tournament that it is part of. The expectations from the Three Lions for the Qatar World Cup are high and one man who can help deliver is Harry Kane. The England captain and no.10 has scored 13 goals in  22 matches for his English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspurs. Kane has an impressive record for England too. The forward has been involved in 65 goals (51 goals and 14 assists) in just 75 appearances. Although in the runup to the World Cup, England have been in poor form but, England coach Gareth Southgate can count on his striker to get the Three Lions roaring in the desert. (Image: Reuters)
 Robert Lewandowski, Poland |   Although Poland are a less fancied international side compared to Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, and England, but Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is a dream for any club or international coach. Since moving to Barcelona Lewandowski has found the back of the net 18 times in 19 matches and assisted in 4 goals. Lewandowski is ruthless in front of the goals and during his stay at Bayern Munich, he broke several goal-scoring records almost at will. The Poland captain has been involved in 105 goals at the senior level in 134 matches. How Poland performs in Qatar will depend on Lewandowski's hunger for goals. (Image: Reuters)
Robert Lewandowski, Poland |  Although Poland are a less fancied international side compared to Argentina, Portugal, Brazil, France, and England, but Polish striker Robert Lewandowski is a dream for any club or international coach. Since moving to Barcelona Lewandowski has found the back of the net 18 times in 19 matches and assisted in 4 goals. Lewandowski is ruthless in front of the goals and during his stay at Bayern Munich, he broke several goal-scoring records almost at will. The Poland captain has been involved in 105 goals at the senior level in 134 matches. How Poland performs in Qatar will depend on Lewandowski's hunger for goals. (Image: Reuters)
 Darwin Núñez, Uruguay |  Darwin Núñez since his move to Liverpool has won the nickname
Darwin Núñez, Uruguay | Darwin Núñez since his move to Liverpool has won the nickname "chaos" for his ability to make things happen and leave the opposition defense confused. Nunez had a slow start at Liverpool but he picked up form just ahead of the World Cup. The forward has netted 9 goals and assisted twice in 18 appearances for the Reds this term. Last season for Benfica Núñez netted 34 goals in 41 matches.  Uruguay are always the dark horse to win a FIFA World Cup. With aging forwards like Luis Suarez and Edison Cavani also in the side, the Qatar World Cup could be Núñez's breakthrough moment. (Image: Reuters)
 Ansu Fait, Spain |  Anus Fati is the youngest player on this list. The Spanish winger is aged just 20 but holds plenty of promise. Fati has already found his goal-scoring touch in Qatar as he scored Spain's opening goal in the team's World Cup warm-up match against Jordan. This season he has scored 3 goals and provided 3 assists for Barcelona. Fati will play a key role for Spain at the Qatar World Cup 2022. (Image: Reuters)
Ansu Fait, Spain | Anus Fati is the youngest player on this list. The Spanish winger is aged just 20 but holds plenty of promise. Fati has already found his goal-scoring touch in Qatar as he scored Spain's opening goal in the team's World Cup warm-up match against Jordan. This season he has scored 3 goals and provided 3 assists for Barcelona. Fati will play a key role for Spain at the Qatar World Cup 2022. (Image: Reuters)
Published : November 18, 2022 03:59 PM IST
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