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World Cup Top Goalscorer Betting, Odds & Tips (Golden Boot)

Golden BootAlongside betting on which of the 32 teams will win the World Cup, another hugely popular market for punters in these massive football tournaments is betting on which world superstar, or emerging unknown talent, will be the top goalscorer of the tournament, earning themselves the coveted Golden Boot.

Gary Lineker is the only English player to ever win the crown (in Mexico 1986) and other’s that have earned the top prize include Gerd Muller, Eusebio, Brazil’s Ronaldo, Davor Suker, Miroslav Klose and in 2014 it was Colombia’s James Rodriguez who won the prize with 6 goals in his country’s five games.

So, who will succeed Rodriguez as the leading goalscorer in Russia 2018? Let’s take a closer look at the odds and then preview the top prospects before I give you my tip for the top goalscorer this summer.

World Cup 2018: Top Scorer Odds

Player Odds
ArgentinaLionel Messi 11.0 (10/1)
BrazilNeymar 11.0 (10/1)
PortugalCristiano Ronaldo 13.0 (12/1)
FranceAntoine Griezman 13.0 (12/1)
EnglandHarry Kane 15.0 (14/1)
GermanyTimo Werner 15.0 (14/1)
BrazilGabriel Jesus 17.0 (16/1)
BelgiumRomelu Lukaku 17.0 (16/1)
GermanyThomas Muller 21.0 (20/1)
SpainDiego Costa 26.0 (25/1)
UruguayEdinson Cavani 26.0 (25/1)
UruguayLuis Suarez 26.0 (25/1)
ArgentinaSergio Aguero 26.0 (25/1)
ArgentinaGonzalo Higuain 34.0 (33/1)
SpainIsco 34.0 (33/1)
FranceKylian Mbappe 34.0 (33/1)
PolandRobert Lewandowski 34.0 (33/1)
EgyptMohammed Salah 41.0 (40/1)
BelgiumEden Hazard 46.0 (45/1)

See full market & odds here. Odds correct at time of publication.

World Cup Golden Boot Tips & Predictions

Lionel Messi (Argentina)

Messi

  • Age – 30
  • Caps – 123
  • Goals – 61

He’s the greatest player in history, but the one thing missing from Messi’s resume is a World Cup win and a top goalscorer award in the tournament. Now aged 30 and still in incredible form, this could well be Messi’s time to inspire his country to the ultimate accolade and if he does, you can bet he’ll be chief amongst the goal-getters.

Neymar (Brazil)

Neymar

  • Age – 26
  • Caps – 83
  • Goals – 53

The PSG star has recovered from a lengthy injury just before the World Cup but it remains to be seen just how fit he is for Brazil. The injury should have healed, but how match-fit Neymar is will be open to question. He is Brazil’s main goal threat and he is in his prime, but you can’t help but feel his best chance to win the Golden Boot may have been four years ago in his home country.

Antoine Griezmann (France)

Griezmann

  • Age – 27
  • Caps – 51
  • Goals – 19

The Atletico Madrid star has a rather modest international record compared to some others on this list but France are viewed as genuine contenders and he does tend to come up with the goods for Didier Deschamps men in the big tournaments. Drawn in a relatively easy group, Griezmann could get a fair few goals in France’s opening three games.

Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

Lukaku

  • Age – 25
  • Caps – 66
  • Goals – 33

Belgium’s record goalscorer at international level, Lukaku has been struggling with an ankle injury that ruled him out of the FA Cup Final for Manchester United, only able to feature as a substitute. A powerful striker who will be key to Belgium’s hopes, he has the potential to be amongst the top goalscorers here, but only if he is fully fit and Belgium hit top form.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

Ronaldo

  • Age – 33
  • Caps – 149
  • Goals – 81

After missing Portugal’s Euro 2016 Final success through injury, Ronaldo will want to be fit for every minute of this World Cup. He has a phenomenal goalscoring record at international level and is almost Portugal’s solitary goalscoring threat, however the way Fernando Santos sets up his team defensively may not help his cause.

Harry Kane (England)

Kane

  • Age – 24
  • Caps – 23
  • Goals – 12

Harry Kane scored more goals in 2017 in Europe than any other player and while a few niggling injuries have hampered him towards the end of the season, he still topped 30 Premier League goals again this campaign. He’ll be England’s main attacking threat and if Southgate’s team can get some goals against the minnows in their group, he stands a decent chance.

Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)

Jesus

  • Age – 21
  • Caps – 15
  • Goals – 9

Neymar’s role for Brazil means he can often turn creator as much as the goalscorer himself, and if he does then Man City star Gabriel Jesus may be the one to benefit from that. He has a fine goalscoring record for Brazil from relatively few starts and he is likely to just get the nod ahead of Firmino in attack for the Brazilians.

Timo Werner (Germany)

Werner

  • Age – 22
  • Caps – 12
  • Goals – 7

It’s strange to think that Timo Werner is Germany’s most likely goalscoring threat with Mario Gomez now past his best. He has a decent goalscoring record for Germany but only in a few games and in truth, I am not entirely 100% sure he is likely to start too many games for Germany as they may opt instead to play Thomas Muller in a more advanced role.

Luis Suarez (Uruguay)

Suarez

  • Age – 31
  • Caps – 97
  • Goals – 50

Alongside Cavani, Uruguay may have the most potent attacking duo in the World Cup finals and Suarez seems to earn as many inches of press for controversy as he does brilliance. The Barcelona man could well be a very good outside bet to lift the Golden Boot, especially if Uruguay can come through what looks a tough group.

Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)

Cavani

  • Age – 31
  • Caps – 100
  • Goals – 42

The Paris St Germain striker has forged a fine partnership with Luis Suarez for Uruguay and either of them are good shouts to be top goalscorer, such is their quality. Cavani is a more muscular centre-forward than Suarez, but he is equally as adroit in front of goal and has been in good goalscoring form this season at club level.

Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

Lewandowski

  • Age – 29
  • Caps – 93
  • Goals – 59

One of the best natural number 9 centre forwards in the modern game, Lewandowski will spearhead what is an underrated and impressive Polish side at the finals and he could be a contender if he manages to get plenty of goals in the opening phase. He is in decent form with his club Bayern Munich this season, particularly at domestic level.

Thomas Muller (Germany)

Muller

  • Age – 28
  • Caps – 90
  • Goals – 38

Thomas Muller may not have enjoyed his best season, he was out of the Bayern Munich side at one stage of the campaign, but he has a knack of turning up when the big tournaments come around. He has 10 goals in World Cup Finals already and was the Golden boot winner back in South Africa in 2010. He may also be used as a striker for Germany, which enhances his chances greatly.

Sergio Aguero (Argentina)

Aguero

  • Age – 29
  • Caps – 84
  • Goals – 36

Sergio Aguero’s record for Argentina is excellent but it pales compared to that of Lionel Messi. The Manchester City striker, if he played for any other country, would be likely amongst the favourites to win this, but for Argentina with Dybala, Icardi and Higuain pushing for a place in attack alongside Messi, there’s a real chance he may start most games on the bench.

Mohamed Salah (Egypt)

Salah

  • Age – 25
  • Caps – 57
  • Goals – 33

Anfield’s Egyptian King has enjoyed a stellar first campaign for Liverpool and you can bet many scousers will be keeping a keen eye on how Salah performs this summer for his home nation. His goals record for Egypt is excellent, but most of those goals have come against lesser opponents than he will face at this summer’s World Cup.

Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina)

Higuain

  • Age – 30
  • Caps – 70
  • Goals – 31

Gonzalo Higuain is a pure goalscorer and has scored goals for all his club sides and his national team. He does miss a few chances, but Jorge Sampaoli does seem to like the balance and presence he brings into the attack and if he starts (which is by no means a certainty) then he is always a danger to find the net against any team in the world.

Kylian Mbappe (France)

Mbappe

  • Age – 19
  • Caps – 12
  • Goals – 3

It may be a tournament too soon for Paris St Germain’s young striker but Mbappe has the talent to fire goals in for France far more regularly than he has done so thus far. Personally, I think he is more likely to be used as an impact substitute by Didier Deschamps and that makes me question whether he has a realistic chance of being top scorer.

Eden Hazard (Belgium)

Hazard

  • Age – 27
  • Caps – 82
  • Goals – 21

Chelsea’s mercurial talent has been a key player for Belgium for a while now and is approaching 100 caps. His goalscoring record doesn’t match that of Romelu Lukaku however and he tends to play a more supporting role for his country, rather than acting as an out and out goalscorer.

2018 World Cup Top Goalscorer Tip

It’s generally rare for a team to go out at the group stage, or even the first knockout round, and have a player to win the Golden Boot, so we are looking at teams and players that have a realistic chance of the quarter finals or better here and for me there are three teams that stand out here, Brazil, Germany and Spain.

Spain I discount because they tend to share the goals around, Germany don’t really have a notable attacking threat, but Brazil have Neymar and I think he is the smart option here, especially after his home world cup finished in such sour circumstances, provided he is fully fit and raring to go after his injury.

Golden Boot winner: I’m backing Neymar to win Top Goalscorer at the 2018 World Cup – best odds are at Coral where a £10 bet returns £130

the Cheeky Punter

the Cheeky Punter

The Cheeky Punter is an ex professional online sports bettor and trader with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He has worked for a number of top bookmakers including Ladbrokes, William Hill and Coral. He's also written for a number of leading news outlets including the Guardian, i (newspaper) and Soccer Lens. More about him here.

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