The strikers targeting Golden Boot glory in Qatar

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Brazil star Neymar will fancy his chances of winning the Golden Boot in Qatar

As Qatar 2022 draws ever closer, football’s most lethal goalscorers will be dreaming of winning both the tournament and the coveted Golden Boot.

England’s Harry Kane finished top scorer in the last World Cup and could become the first player ever to do so in back-to-back editions.

Six goals was enough to clinch the award in 10 of the last 11 tournaments, so may be the magic number to aim for this winter.

Before proceedings kick off on Sunday, we take a look at the leading contenders for the competition’s prized individual accolade.

Harry Kane

Kane has been in fine form for club and country ahead of the tournament.

He was the joint-top scorer in European World Cup qualifying, netting 12 times in just eight games.

The 29-year-old also has 12 goals in 15 Premier League matches for Tottenham at club level this term.

The England skipper will hope he can maintain that form in the group stages against Iran, USA and Wales, as he looks to scoop the award for a second time.

Lionel Messi

In what could be his final World Cup appearance, Lionel Messi will be more motivated than ever to perform for his nation on the biggest stage.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar has 12 goals in 19 games in all competitions this term and has hit the target with more shots than any other player in Ligue 1 (31).

He has also been in superb form for Argentina, scoring a whopping nine goals in his last three international matches — which bodes well for the 35-year-old’s Golden Boot chances.

Lionel Messi has struck seven times in 13 Ligue 1 games this term

Neymar

Brazil are among the favourites for this year’s World Cup — and Neymar remains their leading light.

He was the second-highest scorer in CONMEBOL qualifying, netting eight times in only 10 outings.

Now 30, the experienced forward has also enjoyed a stellar campaign at club level with PSG, scoring 15 times in 20 appearances across all competitions.

Furthermore, he is the second-top scorer in Ligue 1 with 11 strikes — nine of which have come from open play — and will hope he can fire his country all the way to a record sixth World Cup success.

Kylian Mbappe

Kylian Mbappe announced himself on the big stage four years ago, scoring four times at the World Cup in Russia — including a goal in the final.

Now 23, France’s star man has cemented his place among the world’s very best players. His astonishing record of 19 goals in 20 domestic and European games this term suggests he has grown even sharper since the last edition of the tournament.

He is also the joint-top scorer in the Champions League this term, netting seven times in only six group stage matches — six from open play — and hitting the target 13 times. That is a record only Real Madrid’s Vinicius Junior can match.

If Mbappe carries his club form on to the international stage, the forward could be a frightening phenomenon to behold.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portugal manager Fernando Santos has been bullish about his team’s chances at the World Cup, with iconic frontman Cristiano Ronaldo leading the line.

Speaking after the Selecao’s squad for the tournament was announced, he said: “All the players that I have called up come with a hunger to win and make Portugal world champion, Ronaldo included.

“I believe we can be world champions and that’s what this team can give.”

It would be unwise to bet against Cristiano adding the Golden Boot to his remarkable list of achievements.

With over 800 career goals to his name — and having previously led Portugal to European Championship and Nations League triumphs — the 37-year-old will be keen to remind the world of his qualities in Qatar.

Source: Livescore

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