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World Cup 2022 Golden Boot favourites: Who will be top scorer?

World Cup 2022 Golden Boot: Close-up view of the World Cup 2018 Golden Boot awarded to Harry Kane of England before the UEFA Nations League A group four match between England and Spain at Wembley Stadium on September 8, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.
Close-up view of the World Cup 2018 Golden Boot awarded to Harry Kane of England before the UEFA Nations League A group four match between England and Spain at Wembley Stadium (Image credit: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The World Cup 2022 Golden Boot race is set to be one of the best in years, as some of the game's biggest goal threats strut their stuff on the biggest stage.

As well as hoping to fire their respective nations to success out in Qatar, the world's best strikers will be vying to claim individual honours as the tournament's top scorer.

Harry Kane is the bookies' favourite to win the World Cup 2022 Golden Boot for the second tournament running – something no one's ever done – but he's bound to face stiff competition.

FourFourTwo runs through the leading contenders to walk away with the shoe-shaped prize this time around...

World Cup 2022 Golden Boot rivals: Harry Kane (England)

Harry Kane of England during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between Hungary and England at Puskas Arena on June 4, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.

England striker and captain Harry Kane (Image credit: James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images)

With six goals – including a brace in England's dramatic 2-1 over Tunisia and a hat-trick in the 6-0 thrashing of Panama – Harry Kane scooped the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

By doing so, the Three Lions captain became the second Englishman to take home the prize – after Gary Lineker in 1986.

Kylian Mbappe (France)

Kylian Mbappe of France looks on during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 1 match between France and Denmark at Stade de France on June 3, 2022 in Paris, France.

France forward Kylian Mbappe (Image credit: Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Voted Best Young Player for years ago, Kylian Mbappe netted four times as he lit up his first-ever World Cup while still only 19.

The lightning-quick PSG star averages close to a goal every other game for his country and has finished as Ligue 1 top scorer in each of the last four seasons.

Karim Benzema (France)

Karim Benzema of France looks on during line-up before the UEFA Nations League League A Group 1 match between France and Denmark at Stade de France on June 3, 2022 in Paris, France.

France striker Karim Benzema (Image credit: Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

Karim Benzema turns 35 during the World Cup, but the Real Madrid skipper has been in the form of his life over the past 12 months or so.

Exiled from the national squad for five years, the 2021-22 Champions League top scorer returned to major tournament football at Euro 2020 – where he bagged two braces to finish with four goals as Les Bleus crashed out in the last 16.

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Lionel Messi of Argentina gestures during the Finalissima 2022 match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1, 2022 in London, England.

Argentina forward and captain Lionel Messi (Image credit: Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

With 86 goals in 162 caps, Lionel Messi isn't nearly as prolific for Argentina as he is at club level – but we reckon that's still a pretty impressive return.

Given that he'll be 39 by the time the 2026 World Cup comes around, this could well be the arguable GOAT's last chance to become a world champion – and imagine if he did it as top scorer, too...

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal during the UEFA Nations league match between Portugal v Switzerland at the Estadio Jose Alvalade on June 5, 2022 in Lisbon Portugal.

Portugal striker and captain Cristiano Ronaldo (Image credit: David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

No one in the history of international football has scored more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo's – who's been on target 117 times for the country he captains.

Granted, only seven of those have come in World Cups, but the five-time Ballon d'Or recipient, still supremely fit at 37, ought to be in with a shout of winning the Golden Boot this winter – especially if Portugal reach the latter stages of the tournament.

Neymar (Brazil)

Neymar Jr of Brazil looks on prior to during a match between Brazil and Peru as part of South American Qualifiers for Qatar 2022 at Arena Pernambuco on September 09, 2021 in Recife, Brazil.

Brazil forward Neymar (Image credit: Pedro Vilela/Getty Images)

As always, the big question with Neymar is can he stay fit? If he does, Brazil's biggest star has a brilliant chance of bettering his previous World Cup best of four goals on home soil in 2014.

The 30-year-old has enjoyed a fine early season for PSG and is ready to spearhead spearhead his country's attack as the Selecao chase their first World Cup triumph since 2002.

Memphis Depay (Netherlands)

Memphis Depay of Netherlands stands for the national anthem prior to the UEFA Nations League League A Group 4 match between Netherlands and Poland at Stadium Feijenoord on June 11, 2022 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Netherlands striker Memphis Depay (Image credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)

Back on the biggest stage after failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the Netherlands will look to Memphis Depay as their man source of goals in Qatar.

There may be doubts over his lack of club football at Barcelona since the arrival of Robert Lewansowski, but Depay netted 17 times in 16 appearances for his country last year and has carried that scintillating form into 2022.

Lautaro Martinez (Argentina)

Lautaro Martinez of Argentina looks on during the Finalissima 2022 match between Italy and Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1, 2022 in London, England.

Argentina striker Lautaro Martinez (Image credit: Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

One of Serie A's leading marksmen with Inter Milan, Lautaro Martinez looks set to go to his first World Cup – having not made the cut in 2018.

The 25-year-old – who's closing in on half a century of international caps – opened the scoring as Argentina beat Euro 2020 champions Italy to win the CONMEBOL-UEFA Finalissima at Wembley August.

Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

Romelu Lukaku of Belgium looks on during the UEFA Nations League 2021 Semi-final match between Belgium and France at Allianz Stadium on October 07, 2021 in Turin, Italy.

Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku (Image credit: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Belgium's all-time top scorer, Romelu Lukaku will want to show the world he still very much knows where the goal is following his disastrous return to Chelsea.

Back on loan at Inter, the 29-year-old has represented the Red Devils at two previous World Cups; he was on target four times in 2018, bagging braces against Panama and Tunisia.

Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

Robert Lewandowski of Poland celebrates after scoring his team's 1st goal during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 4 match between Belgium and Poland on June 8, 2022 in Brussels, Belgium.

Poland striker and captain Robert Lewandowski (Image credit: Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)

Sharing a group with Argentina, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, Poland look to have a decent chance of progressing to the last 16 – and four games could be all Robert Lewandowski needs to walk away with the Golden Boot.

His country's captain and all-time leading scorer, the 34-year-old has chalked up at least 40 club goals in each of the past seven campaigns – reaching 50 twice.

Alvaro Morata (Spain)

Alvaro Morata of Spain during the UEFA Nations league match between Spain v Czech Republic at the Estadio La Rosaleda on June 12, 2022 in Malaga Spain.

(Image credit: David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Historically a streaky striker, Alvaro Morata has enjoyed a solid couple of years for Spain – for whom he scored three goals at Euro 2020.

Left out of La Roja's squad four years ago, the Atletico Madrid man will be itching to get his first taste of World Cup football at the age of 30 – and aiming to become the first-ever Spanish Golden Boot winner.

Timo Werner (Germany)

Timo Werner of Germany looks on during the UEFA Nations League League A Group 3 match between Germany and England at Borussia Park Stadium on June 14, 2022 in Monchengladbach, Germany.

Germany striker Timo Werner (Image credit: Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)

Timo Werner may have flopped at Chelsea – ultimately leaving the Blues to return to RB Leipzig this summer – but he's rarely far from a goal for his country.

Joint top scorer as Germany won the 2017 Confederations Cup, he'll be determined to make his mark on a major tournament – having drawn blanks at Euro 2020 and the previous World Cup.

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