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Who will win the World Cup Golden Boot? The favourites and the dark horses

We take a look at the fancied and the long shots to take home the World Cup’s illustrious top scorer prize.

THE TOP PLAYERS from all over the world meet in Russia this summer to compete for football’s top prize, the World Cup. However, for some there’s a chance to aim for the Golden Boot.

The World Cup Golden Boot is awarded to the tournament’s top goalscorer and many players will be competing to join the illustrious list of former winners and see their names alongside the likes of Müller, Ronaldo and Schillaci.

The race is often unpredictable and offers a different dimension to the tournament and a chance for some stars to shine when their nation perhaps doesn’t.

Here’s a rundown of the favorites and pick of dark horses for the accolade:

The Favourites

Neymar 8/1

England v Brazil - Bobby Moore Fund International - Wembley Stadium Neymar in action against England in November Source: Tim Goode

Brazil’s main man and the world’s most expensive player, Neymar is worth his billing as joint favorite for the prize. He’s been lethal this season in front of goal and the way this Brazil side is bubbling up for a World Cup tilt, he’s likely to play a lot of games this summer.

Lionel Messi 10/1

No surprises as to why he’s a favourite to pick up the prize. This may be the 30-year-old’s last chance to impress in a World Cup. He was the tournament’s best player in 2014 as Argentina reached the final. A Golden Boot and a World Cup medal would be the perfect way to cement his legacy as the best ever.

Antoine Griezmann 10/1

Friendly Match France v Colombia Source: Liewig Christian/ABACA

In an exciting and ever-changing French squad, Griezmann remains the talisman heading to Russia. The 27-year-old is one of the world’s best attackers and with France expected to go very far in the tournament, it makes sense that the Atletico man will get a chance to rack up a strong tally.

Gabriel Jesus 14/1

The Brazilian has been in excellent form for Premier League champions Man City and has been clinical in a Brazil shirt too. The 21-year-old is one of the game’s brightest stars and alongside Neymar, Brazil’s attack could well be free-scoring in Russia. Expect Jesus to bag a few goals.

Timo Werner 14/1

Werner is one of the new breed that Germany will rely on as they look to retain the World Cup this year. He’s been a revelation for RB Leipzig and has brought that form to the national side, finishing among the Confederations Cup top scorers last year. The 22-year-old has a promising summer ahead.

Harry Kane 16/1

The Spurs striker has been one of Europe’s most consistent in the last four seasons, scoring over 20 league goals each season including 30 Premier League goals this season. Kane comes into his first World Cup as England’s first-choice striker and if on form, he’ll undoubtedly be in with a shout.

Cristiano Ronaldo 18/1

Similar to Messi, this is Ronaldo’s last chance to shine on the biggest stage. At 33, he’s won it all at club level and also tasted success at Euro 2016. He will look to lead Portugal from the front and will terrorise any defence and is definitely to be considered as a favorite.

The Dark Horses

Thomas Müller 25/1

Czech Republic vs Germany The Bayern Munich man has an excellent record in previous World Cups. Source: DPA/PA Images

Müller made his breakthrough at the 2010 World Cup where he won the Golden Boot and he also finished second behind James Rodriguez in the 2014 tournament. Now at 28, the Bayern Munich man is one of the most complete forwards in the game. With his international pedigree, it would be foolish not to consider him as a potential winner.

Kylian Mbappe 25/1

The French teenager is one of the most exciting young talents in the game and has broken into the French set up in the last year as a result. Expect Mbappe to be prominent for the French and he should expect to get on the score-sheet.

Robert Lewandowski 25/1

The fact that the Bayern Munich target man is priced so highly is confusing. Lewandowski is one of the best goalscorers today and as Poland’s shining light, expect him to cause serious problems for anyone he faces.

Sergio Aguero 40/1

Aguero is likely to be a key man for Argentina in Russia. As well as Messi, this may be his last chance to perform at a World Cup and the Man City man will look to take advantage of that. He’s a top-class striker and at 40/1, that’s almost insulting.

Radamel Falcao 50/1

The 32-year-old is definitely a long shot for the award but one to keep an eye on. Falcao’s career took a downward spiral from his move to Monaco from Atletico Madrid in 2013 and after unsuccessful loan spells at Man United and Chelsea, the Colombian has finally found his feet back at Monaco this season. He has it in him and leading Colombia’s attack, you just never know.

Mo Salah 75/1

(SP)EGYPT-ALEXANDRIA-FOOTBALL-WORLD CUP 2018-QUALIFICATION-EGYPT VS CONGO The 25-year-old was the hero as Egypt sealed their place in the World Cup thanks to his 95th minute penalty sealed a 2-1 win over Congo last October. Source: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

Recovering from his Champions League shoulder injury, Salah heads to this tournament with 44 goals this season and the record for most goals in a Premier League season. The Egyptian is a national hero after steering his country to the tournament and provided he’s fully fit, he’ll expect to be in among the goals.

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