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Home -> Blogs -> World Cup 2014 -> Race to the Golden Boot

Race to the Golden Boot

Jul 03, 2014 22:40

We’re already done with the knockout stage, and the competition is heating up with nearly every match running into extra time. Or even penalties. Certain payers have shined gloriously this World Cup and a few have emerged on as strong contenders for the Golden Boot this year. Those with the likeliest chance to receive the Golden Boot are:

James Rodriguez – 6 goals, 5 matches

The 22-year old Columbian has been creating waves with his extraordinary display of football this World Cup. He has scored a goal or more in every single match he has played so far, and his goal against Uruguay was easily one of the best goals throughout the World Cup. James Rodriguez has been instrumental in carrying out Columbia’s attacking style to perfection. Their first match against Greece had resulted in a relatively easy victory, and James’ goal in the 3rd minute of the stoppage time assisted by Cuadrado was the cherry on their victory cake. However, his goals got more daring. Against Uruguay, a team that was pretty lacking without their backbone Suarez, Rodriguez took full advantage and scored two fantastic goals which displayed his capacity to shoot from outside the box, accuracy and ball control skills. He’s always a part of the starting 11 and plays tirelessly throughout the match. He seems to have a fantastic partnership with Cuadrado whose assists have materialised into goals. The toughest competition that Columbia is to face will be Brazil in the quarter finals, as the rest other competitors have been relatively easy opponents for Rodriguez and his team to crack.

Thomas Mueller – 5 goals, 6 matches, 382 minutes

He scored the first hat-trick of the tournament in Germany’s match against Portugal which immediately identified him as one of the top Golden Boot contenders, an award he received in the 2010 World Cup as well. He upped his goal count by scoring a difficult long shot from the left against the USA, easily his best goal so far. He has been consistent in that he has made goals happen in matches where he hasn’t scored. Muller faced tough competition against Ghana where the defence was strong and they equalised the first goal assisted by Muller, within 3 minutes. The team faced unexpectedly tough competition with Algeria as their opponent in the Round of 16, and it was a combination of luck and talent on behalf of Muller, Schurrle and Ozil that took the team forward. Germany is set to face France next and Muller has to double his speed and strength if he is to score against their tough defence.

Lionel Messi – 4 goals, 6 matches

The Argentina star has scored in all the Group Stage matches and assisted the winning goal in their knockout match against Switzerland. It has been tough for Messi, who has been marked by two or three men consistently in every single match he has played so far. The man who works on motivation has come alive on the field either when he has scored or when he has witnessed his team playing extraordinarily well. He has been the main reason for Argentina to reach the quarter finals and his chances at scoring more look positive simply because his entire team seems to search for him when on the forward so he can score them a goal. Messi plays very deliberately – none of his goals are accidents and he has immense ball control on the field. All the teams he has played against so far – Bosnia Herzegovina, Iran, Nigeria and Switzerland, especially Iran, put up strong defences to counter the famous Argentine attack – at the heart of which lies Messi. It is crucial for him to be trained specially to be able to break past the tight three-man personal defence that he faces during every match so as to be able to sail his team through victory as well as win the Golden Boot.

Neymar – 4 goals, 4 matches, 369 minutes

The 22-year old has been displaying a performance on the field that match the expectations that the world has placed upon him. He has scored two goals in the match against Croatia and Cameroon respectively and has consistently attempted to score goals or create opportunities or his teammates to score. He is excellent attaking penalty shots and has scored a penalty goal in each of the matches where he has scored. The Brazilians faced tough competition with Croatia with their strong defence, and Mexico’s Ochoa made it nearly impossible to score a single goal. However, Neymar has opened for his team and has been a fighter despite having tough goalkeepers to score against. His headers and the capacity to play with both feet work in his favour, and if he is accompanied by Fred or Oscar to assist him, he has a good shot at securing the Golden Boot.

Robin van Persie – 3 goals, 6 matches

The seasoned Dutch player has put up an aggressive show and scored goals with flair and style. His goals against Spain in their first group stage match were brilliant as they were both hard shots that had to be scored in split seconds. His accuracy is commendable and he shares a great partnership on the field with Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder. He is fast to tackle and seize the ball, thus giving himself the chance to score. He is not a selfish player but has honed his skills enough to know when to score and when to assist. His first match against Spain gave him relatively easy chances to score and the Spanish fell down faster than a pack of cards. His goal against Australia was more impressive as the Socceroos did put up a valiant fight and made it very hard for the Dutch to win. Mexico’s warrior Ochoa made it nearly impossible for Netherlands to clear the knockout stage and van Persie found himself neither scoring nor assisting. He has an impressive record as he missed a match and still has three goals to his name this World Cup – however, Costa Rica have been fighting hard as well and it will be difficult for van Persie to create a record that matches one such as Rodriguez’s.


2010: Thomas Mueller (Germany ) 5 Goals
2006: Miroslav Klose (Germany) 5 Goals
2002: Ronaldo (Brazil) 8 Goals
1998: Davor Suker (Croatia) 6 Goals
1994: Histro Stoichkov (Bulgaria), Oleg Salenko (Russia) 6 Goals
1990: Salvatore Schillachi (Italy) 6 Goals
1986: Gary Lineker (England) 6 Goals
1982: Paolo Rossi (Italy) 6 Goals
1978: Mario Kempes (Argentina) 6 Goals
1974: Gregorz Lato (Poland) 7 Goals
1970: Gerd Mueller (Germany) 10 Goals
1966: Eusebio (Portugal) 9 Goals
1962: Florian Albert (Hungary), Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Union), Drazen Jerkovic (Yugoslavia), Leonel Sanchez (Chile), Vava (Brazil), Garrincha (Brazil) All 4 Goals
1958: Just Fontaine (France) 13 Goals
1954: Sandor Kocsis (Hungary) 11 Goals
1950: Ademir (Brazil) 9 Goals
1938: Leonidas (Brazil) 8 Goals
1934: Oldrich Nejedly (Czechoslovakia), Edmund Conen (Germany), Angelo Schiavio (Italy) All 4 Goals
1930: Guillermo Stabile (Argentina) 8 Goals

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