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Russia 2018

World Cup 2018 – Golden Boot Contenders

World Cup Ronaldo Lionel Messi Neymar
A combination of images shows (L-R) Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi, Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo and Paris Saint-Germain's Brazilian striker Neymar. Neymar was named alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi on the three-man shortlist for the Best FIFA Men's Player Award, which was announced in London on September 22, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Lluis GENE (Photo credit should read LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images)

The 2018 World Cup in Russia is fast approaching. Players will have had a month to shake off from their domestic seasons and get in the World Cup spirit. The biggest competition in football is never short on drama or goals, but who will be this year’s Golden Boot winner to follow on from James Rodriguez of 2014.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Who could ever rule out CR7. The Portuguese forward has been in phenomenal form in 2018, particularly in the Champions League where he found the net in typical fashion and went on to claim a hat trick of medals with Madrid in three consecutive years. Ronaldo spearheaded Portugal into their European 2016 triumph, so Fernando Santos’ men will fancy their chances in the summer. Arguably, Ronaldo also has an improved range of playmakers behind him compared to other tournaments – with the likes of Bernardo Silva and Gelson Martins having great campaigns for their clubs.

Lionel Messi

Of course there is only one name that can follow straight after Ronaldo, and that is Lionel Messi. The Barcelona forward managed another impressive return of goals, reaching 50 goals in 52 games in all competitions. His 34 goals in La Liga helped the Catalans secure a 25th league trophy, so the right-winger will feel confident going into the World Cup. As for Argentina, they will feel optimistic they can top their group, with Croatia, Nigeria and Iceland making up the rest of Group D. The likes of Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria and Sergio Aguero will provide Messi with his natural source of link-up play and creativity for him to shine in Russia.

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Neymar JR

The World’s most expensive player has been passed fully fit for Russia and will be hoping he can emulate his scintillating form for PSG prior to his injury. Since completing his record breaking move to France, Neymar has lit-up Ligue 1 with his notorious showboating, lightning speed and touch of class which prompted him to 19 goals in 20 appearances. Not only will Neymar’s own ability give him a great chance of clinching the Golden Boot but the strength and depth of his compatriots make for an extremely impressive Brazil side.

The Other Candidates – My Verdict

  1. Antoine Griezmann – France
  2. Harry Kane – England
  3. Diego Costa – Spain
  4. Sergio Aguero – Argentina
  5. Romelu Lukaku – Belgium

Who do you think will be taking home the Golden Boot this summer?

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