World Cup 2022: Do goals in the third place play-off count towards the Golden Boot?

England's striker Harry Kane is presented with his Golden Boot award for being the top goal-scorer at the 2018 World Cup in Russia ahead of the UEFA Nations League football match between England and Spain at Wembley Stadium in London on September 8, 2018.
(Image credit: GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

The World Cup 2022 will – as has been the case at every World Cup bar 1930 and 1950 – feature a third place play-off to decide who finishes third and fourth at the tournament.

Historically, this much-maligned match has been a high-scoring affair – so could it prove decisive in the Golden Boot Race in Qatar this winter? 

FourFourTwo explains all…

Do goals scored in the third place play-off count towards the Golden Boot?

They say the third place play-off is the game no one wants to play – and that's probably to a large extent – but it's still an official World Cup match.

So yes, goals scored in the third place play-off do count towards the Golden Boot. A goal is a goal. But not if it's scored in a shootout.

Who was the first Golden Boot winner to score in the third place play-off?

Brazilian forward Leonidas (L) controls the ball in front of a Swedish defender during the World Cup soccer match for third place between Brazil and Sweden 19 June 1938 in Bordeaux. Leonidas scored twice to help Brazil beat Sweden 4-2. AFP PHOTO / AFP PHOTO / STAFF

Brazilian Leonidis won the 1938 World Cup Golden Boot (Image credit: STAFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Brazil (opens in new tab)'s Leonidas was the first Golden Boot winner to score in the World Cup third place play-off.

The 'Black Diamond' – who's said to have invented the bicycle kick – bagged a brace as the Selecao beat Sweden 4-2 to finish third at the 1938 tournament in France.

Who was the most recent Golden Boot winner to score in the third place play-off?

Diego Forlan of Uruguay celebrates scoring the equalising goal during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Semi Final match between Uruguay and the Netherlands at Green Point Stadium on July 6, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Diego Forlan netted four goals at the 2010 World Cup – including in the third-place play-off (Image credit: Ryan Pierse - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The most recent Golden Boot winner to score in the third place play-off at the World Cup was Davor Suker in 1998. He notched the winner as Croatia saw off the Netherlands (opens in new tab) to secure third spot.

Since then, two other Golden Boot winners have played in the third place play-off – Germany's Miroslav Klose in 2006 and England (opens in new tab)'s Harry Kane in 2018 – but neither scored.

Uruguay (opens in new tab)'s Diego Forlan and Germany (opens in new tab)'s Thomas Muller were two of four joint top scorers at the 2010 World Cup, and both scored in the third place play-off (opens in new tab) (won by Germany) – with latter clinching the Golden Boot by virtue of having provided more assists during the tournament.

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