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In the 10 tournaments since an award has been given to the World Cup top goalscorer, six goals has been the winning mark on seven occasions. 

Only once has a player scored more than six over that period, while five was enough to secure the trophy in 2006 and 2010, when Miroslav Klose and Thomas Müller won the Golden Shoe and Golden Boot respectively. 

If there is a tie for top scorer in Qatar, the player with the most non-penalty goals will win the Golden Boot. If they are still tied, assists will be used to determine a winner. 

Best odds for the World Cup 2022 Top Scorer

PlayerOddWhere to bet
Harry Kane9/1Unibet
Kylian Mbappe9/1Bet365
Lionel Messi14/1888sport
Karim Benzema15/1Unibet

The favourites to win the Golden Boot

Harry Kane (England)

9/1 (Unibet)

Harry Kane is aiming to become the first player in World Cup history to finish as top scorer more than once. Kane has 12 goals in 15 Premier League starts this term, and has a soft first-round draw with Iran, the USA and Wales.

England are naturally cautious under Gareth Southgate, however, and Kane could take on the role of playmaker rather than goalscorer. 

There is a chance Kane gets a head start in the Golden Boot race with a couple against Iran, but this still doesn’t look like a great price.

Kylian Mbappe (France)

9/1 (Bet365)

Scorer of 19 in 19 starts across Ligue 1 and the Champions League in 2022-23, Kylian Mbappé has a claim at being the best player in the world heading into this tournament.

France could score a few against Australia and Tunisia, but there is rightly some scepticism about the defending champions following their results over the last few months and a premature exit at Euro 2020.

Mbappé starred four years ago, scoring four times in Russia. He will need at least a couple more to win the Golden Boot this winter.

Other favourite top scorer odds

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

14/1 (888Sport)

Reputation alone makes Lionel Messi’s name jump off the page at 14/1. Only two players in the history of the sport have more international goals than Messi, and he has been in stellar form for PSG to start this season.

As his game has evolved in his mid-thirties, though, Messi has become more of a creator than goalscorer, evidenced by his seven goals and 10 assists in Ligue 1 this term.

He is still a Golden Boot candidate, of course, but the value with Argentina lies elsewhere. 

Karim Benzema (France)

15/1 (Unibet)

If Mbappé is 9/1, it doesn’t make much sense for Ballon d’Or winner Karim Benzema to be at 15/1. 

Yes, Benzema only has 37 goals in 97 caps, but his form over the last couple of seasons is spectacular. He repeatedly delivered under pressure in Real Madrid’s Champions League win last season, and he’s well-placed to do the same for France in Qatar.

For both Mbappé and Benzema, it is fair to wonder whether the nature of the strike partnership will limit their respective goal scoring opportunities.

If it comes to choosing between them, Benzema is definitely the superior value at 15/1. 

Outsider top scorer odds

Neymar (Brazil)

17/1 (Unibet)

Neymar is expected to overtake Pelé’s Brazil tally this winter.

On 75 international goals in 121 caps, Neymar has a phenomenal record for the Canarinha, but World Cups have been disappointing after injury disrupted the 2014 edition and Brazil fell to Belgium four years ago.

Fortunately for Brazil, Neymar is fully fit and in form heading to Qatar with 11 goals in 12 Ligue 1 starts. A Seleção have scored 26 goals in their last seven matches, but their group doesn’t lend itself to large goal tallies like some other nations.

The star man for the tournament favourites is worth backing at 17/1, though be wary if his odds are much shorter than that. 

Lautaro Martinez (Argentina)

33/1 (Sporting Index)

Lautaro Martinez has started his international career at an impressive pace, scoring 21 times in 40 caps. The Bahía Blanca native has eight goals to his name this season, following on from a 25-goal campaign in 2021-22.

Four goals in five caps in 2022 sets a platform for a prolific World Cup campaign. Martinez is firing off four shots per match over the last 365 days, and will be the recipient of some great chances from the playmaking wizardry of Lionel Messi.

The opening match against Saudi Arabia is an early opportunity to get some goals on the board. 

With Argentina expected to go on a deep run, it is a real surprise to see Martinez out at 33/1. 

Other interesting bets and odds to consider

Darwin Nunez (Uruguay)

50/1 (Betfred)

If you fancy Uruguay as the tournament dark horse, Darwin Núñez at 50/1 has to be appealing. 

The Liverpool striker might only have three international goals to his name in 13 caps, but he has hit goalscoring form at club level of late and could have a few before the knockouts with matches against Ghana and South Korea.

Núñez has seven goals in his last 10 appearances for Liverpool and has been firing shots off at a relentless rate. He has longer odds than Serge Gnabry and Alvaro Morata for the Golden Boot – this price clearly has some value.

What a player needs to become a top scorer

The Golden Boot, formerly known as the Golden Shoe, has been awarded to the top goalscorer at the World Cup since 1982. In the ten tournaments since its introduction, six goals has been enough to win the award on seven occasions.

  • 1982: Paolo Rossi (Italy) – 6 goals
  • 1986: Gary Lineker (England) – 6 goals
  • 1990: Salvatore Schillaci (Italy) – 6 goals
  • 1994: Oleg Salenko (Russia) and Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) – 6 goals
  • 1998: Davor Suker (Croatia) – 6 goals
  • 2002: Ronaldo (Brazil) – 8 goals
  • 2006: Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 5 goals
  • 2010: Thomas Muller (Germany) – 5 goals
  • 2014: James Rodriguez (Colombia) – 6 goals
  • 2018: Harry Kane (England) – 6 goals

All odds are subject to change

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