Leading the Way
Soccer may be a team sport. There’s no doubt, however, having a lethal scorer on your team makes quite a difference, one of those strikers who needs just one chance to make you pay.
The last two World Cup Golden Boot winners led tournament in goals with six. The last Golden Boot winner who scored more than six goals was Luis Nazario de Lima, better known as Ronaldo. He was leading Brazil to the title in 2002 with eight goals, including two in the Grand Finale against Germany.
Take a look at the soccer betting favorites to finish as the top scorer in Qatar 2022.
Harry Kane (England)
Harry Kane won the Golden Boot in 2018, leading in goals with six as England made the semifinals for the first time since 1966 (a loss to the Croatians). In Qatar, he is expected to lead the attack alongside Jarrod Bowen. Plus, England is the heavy favorite to win Group B. That’s why he’s atop the Soccer odds board, priced at +700.
Kane had a rocky start to the 2021-22 season with Tottenham, but ended by scoring 17 goals in the English Premier League and six in UEFA competitions. He scored a dozen goals in the World Cup qualifiers, having finished as the top scorer alongside Memphis Depay from Netherlands.
Kylian Mbappe (France)
Some consider Kylian Mbappe the best player in the world. This will be the second Cup for the superstar of PSG. In 2018, he contributed four goals as France ended by winning its second title. Les Bleus defeated Croatia, 4-2, in the Grand Finale, as Mbappe scored the final goal.
As last season’s Ligue 1 top scorer with 28 goals, he also scored six goals in the UEFA Champions League and five on the road to Qatar 2022 (teammate Antoine Griezmann led with six). Mbappe, only 23 years old, is offering a +800 price in the sportsbook.
Karim Benzema (France)
Priced At +1100, Karim Benzema could be considered an underdog in the wagering. He just had an historic season in leading Real Madrid to two titles, La Liga and the UCL. The Frenchman scored 27 goals in La Liga, then 15 in the UCL.
After a six-year absence from the national squad, Benzema returned for the EURO 2020, scoring four goals. On the road to this World Cup, he had three. Expected to start as center-forward, so that should give him more chances to score than Mbappe (winger).
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Cristiano Ronaldo had to be on this list, even almost 38 years of age when the competition starts. Returning to Manchester United for the 2021-22 season, Ronaldo ended with 18 goals in the EPL, adding a half-dozen in UEFA competitions.
Portugal suffered more than expected to get a ticket for the Cup. They had to play in the playoffs, defeating Turkey, 3-1, and North Macedonia, 2-0. Ronaldo didn’t score in those games, but finished as the team’s top goal scorer with six.
He’s offering a +1400 price to win the Golden Boot in Qatar, expected to be his last World Cup. In Russia 2018, his goal total was four.
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
Here’s another veteran you can consider including in your soccer picks. This is also expected to be 35-year-old Lionel Messi’s last Cup, meaning he must go all-in right from the start. In 2018, he only scored once, however. It was in 2014 when Argentina reached the Grand Finale and he scored four goals in total.
First season with PSG wasn’t great, scoring only six goals in Ligue 1 and five in the UCL. Again, this could be his last chance. There are many who believe that if Messi and his team win this competition, he’d be crowned the best player in history. That, and a +1400 price, makes him very tempting.