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Who could win the Golden Boot at the Qatar World Cup 2022? | World Cup

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Teams have entered the knockout phase of the World Cup in Qatar and players are not only competing to win the title for their country but also the prestigious Golden Boot trophy for themselves.

The Golden Boot is awarded to an individual player with the most goals scored in the tournament and in the case of a tie for goals scored, the number of assists by a player is then considered.

If players are tied on both counts, the winner is decided by who played the fewest minutes.

England captain Harry Kane took the trophy at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, where he scored six goals and led his team to the semi-finals.

Here is a snapshot of the top contenders for the Golden Boot at the 2022 World Cup:

France’s Kylian Mbappe (centre) dribbles past Australia’s Jackson Irvine (left) during the World Cup Group D football match between France and Australia at Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakrah, Qatar, on November 22, 2022 [File: Francisco Seco/AP Photo]

The 23-year-old scored against Australia in his side’s opening Group D match and bagged a second-half double against Denmark as France booked their spot in the knockouts.

He failed to find the net as Tunisia recorded a famous upset in their final group match, but he added two more goals to his tally in a 3-1 win against Poland on Sunday.

Soccer Football - Euro 2020 - Semi Final - Italy v Spain - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - July 6, 2021 Italy's Gianluigi Donnarumma and Leonardo Bonucci in action with Spain's Alvaro Morata Pool via REUTERS/Frank Augstein
Spain’s Alvaro Morata (centre) in action against Italian players at Wembley Stadium, London, UK in July 2021 [File: Frank Augstein/pool via Reuters]

The Atletico Madrid marksman scored in all three of Spain’s Group E games, including one off the bench against 2014 champions Germany.

Morata, who was edged out of the starting lineup by Marco Asensio in his side’s first two World Cup games, set up Spain’s fifth goal in their 7-0 thrashing of Costa Rica before getting off the mark himself to round off a one-sided opener.

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He put Luis Enrique’s team ahead in their final group game but the 2010 champions were beaten as Japan staged their second stunning turnaround of the tournament to surge into the last 16 in the top spot.

Marcus Rashford
England’s Marcus Rashford celebrates scoring their first goal in the Wales vs England game at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar on November 29, 2022 [File: Hannah Mckay/Reuters]

The England striker enjoyed a dream start to his World Cup campaign in Qatar.

Rashford’s place in the squad was uncertain a few months ago due to form and fitness, but the Manchester United forward has moved up the Golden Boot standings after he scored twice in England’s rout of a Gareth Bale-led Wales side.

Rashford’s teammates Phil Foden, Jack Grealish (both Manchester City), Bukayo Saka (Arsenal), Raheem Sterling (Chelsea) and Jude Bellingham (Borussia Dortmund) also featured on the scoresheet during the group stage.

Rashford started on the bench in England’s 3-0 victory over Senegal in the last 16, coming on in the 65th minute to replace Saka but failing to score. Saka’s goal against Senegal drew him level with Rashford on three goals for the tournament.

Netherlands’ forward Cody Gakpo celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup Group A match between the Netherlands and Qatar at Al-Bayt Stadium in Al Khor on November 29, 2022 [Karim Jaafar/AFP]

The Dutch forward has managed to find the net regularly in Qatar so far, as the Netherlands progressed to the last 16 after finishing top of Group A.

However, Gakpo was unable to add to his tally in the Netherlands’ 3-1 win over the USA in the last 16.

The 23-year-old has been influential in his club PSV Eindhoven’s run to the Europa League knockout stages and has been the subject of transfer speculation with top European clubs said to be vying for his signature when next summer’s transfer window opens.

Argentina v Australia
Lionel Messi of Argentina battles for possession with Keanu Baccus of Australia during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 round of 16 match at Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on December 3, 2022 [Alex Pantling/Getty Images]

The Argentina great is playing in what he has said is probably his last World Cup.

The 35-year-old opened his account by burying a penalty kick in a shock Group C loss to Saudi Arabia, before scoring and assisting Enzo Fernandez in an emotionally charged win over Mexico.

Messi also scored in Argentina’s 2-1 win over Australia in the last 16, putting his side ahead after 35 minutes with a coolly taken low strike for his 94th international goal.

The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner has enjoyed a trophy-laden career at the club level, and his fans around the world are hoping he can finally help deliver a World Cup for his country this time around.

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Messi’s rival Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal became the first player to score in five World Cups when he netted against Ghana in their Group H opener.

Soccer Football - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 - Group H - Portugal v Uruguay - Lusail Stadium, Lusail, Qatar - November 28, 2022 Uruguay's Mathias Olivera in action with Portugal's Bruno Fernandes REUTERS/Dylan Martinez
Portugal’s Bruno Fernandes (centre) in action during the Portugal vs Uruguay match at Lusail Stadium, Qatar on November 28, 2022 [File: Dylan Martinez/Reuters]

Portugal’s run in the World Cup in Qatar has been clouded somewhat by the controversy surrounding Ronaldo and his acrimonious departure from Manchester United.

But his erstwhile club teammate 28-year-old Bruno Fernandes has stepped out of Ronaldo’s shadow by scoring twice against Uruguay after setting up two goals in Portugal’s 3-2 win against Ghana.

Player                       Team            Goals      Assists     Games    Minutes

Kylian Mbappe          France              5              2              4              297

Alvaro Morata           Spain                 3             1              3              126

Lionel Messi             Argentina           3             1              4              360

Marcus Rashford     England             3              0              4              132

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Bukayo Saka England 3 0 3 214

Cody Gakpo            Netherlands       3              0              4               343

Olivier Giroud France 3 0 3 227

Bruno Fernandes Portugal 2 2 2 180

Cho Gue-sung South Korea 2 0 3 196

Andrej Kramaric Croatia 2 0 3 208

Ferran Torres         Spain                  2              0              3               144

Breel Embolo         Switzerland        2               0              3               238

Julian Alvarez         Argentina           2               0              4               208

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Richarlison             Brazil                 2                0              2              152

* Stats as of December 4, 2022

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