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2018 FIFA World Cup: takes a look at five major contenders for the Golden Boot in Russia

Posted: 13 June 2018 Time: 20:00

The world's most prolific goal-scorers will be on show at Russia 2018, but who will prove themselves to be the most lethal in front of goal?

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar will always be mentioned within top-goalscorer discussions at major tournaments due to their incredible exploits at club level.

However, the previous two winners of the award, Thomas Muller (2010) and James Rodríguez (2014), proves it's not always the favorites who walk away with the prestigious honour.

The predictions of 2018 are based on the strength of the opposition these select forwards will face in the Group stage, given the fact that the six-goal mark has been enough to win the award in seven of the last 10 editions.

In 1994, Oleg Salenko famously won the Golden Shoe with the lucky number, after scoring five goals in Russia's 6-1 win against Cameroon and a penalty in their previous game - despite not progressing to the knock-out stage.

1. Edinson Cavani

After netting a staggering 40 goals for Paris Saint-Germain across all compettions, the 31-year-old arrives in Russia at the peak of his career.

Fixtures against Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the lowest ranked side in the tournament in the form of the hosts Russia - we could likely see Cavani bully his way into the reckoning early on.

2. Antoine Griezmann

After winning the top-scorer award at Euro 16 and another consistent campaign in LaLiga, Griezmann looks to be a player fit for the big occasion.

Surrounded with a technically gifted midfield and the blistering pace of Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe, the 27-year-old is likely to get in on the action against Australia, Peru, and Denmark.

Les Blues are capable of reaching the latter stages of the tournament too and what better occasion to prove why you've been linked with some of the biggest clubs in world football.

3. Romelu Lukaku

The 25-year-old is already Belgium's all-time record goalscorer with 36 goals in 69 caps and after a solid debut season with Manchester United.

Group G fixtures see them up against Panama and Tunisia, before their final clash against England.

With the creativity of Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard just behind him, Lukaku could enjoy a fruitful second crack at the FIFA World Cup.

4. Harry Kane

Like Lukaku, the two-time Premier League Golden Boot winner is included based on the opposition.

While his international record of 13 goals in 24 games is not world-class by any stretch of the imagination, his record at club-level stands out after netting a staggering 76 goals for Spurs over the past two seasons.

His recent reward of the captain's armband in a Three Lions side with less expectation to succeed this time around due to their youthful squad could see Kane flourish this month.

5. Thomas Muller

Muller, 28, will not only be chasing the Golden Boot award, but the overall record of the highest ever scorer in World Cup history is in sight.

The Bayern Munich star needs seven goals to usurp compatriot Miroslav Klose, who achieved the feat in four World Cups over the course of his illustrious international career.

Honourable mentions: Gabriel Jesus (Brazil), James Rodriguez, Rademel Falcao (Colombia), Luis Suarez (Uruguay) and Robert Lewandowski (Poland).

Article by: KICK OFF
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