Golden Boot Tracker: Who Led All Goalscorers in Qatar?

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The World Cup trophy might be the centerpiece, but there was a whole slew of hardware up for grabs in Qatar. Chief among them is the Golden Boot, awarded to the tournament’s leading goalscorer. 

Six goals appeared to be the magic number, leading seven of the last 10 tournaments. However, two of the biggest names in the game went above and beyond with their goal totals in Qatar.

Here is a full look at the 2022 World Cup Golden Boot race.

1. Kylian Mbappé, France: 8 goals

Kylian Mbappé picked up right where he left off in 2018. The now-23-year-old striker thrived in the left wing/second striker role under Didier Deschamps, and he now has a Golden Boot award to show for it.

The French megastar entered the tournament final with five goals and two multi-goal games. He upped the ante against Argentina, though, single-handedly carrying Les Bleus with a hat trick. He even scored in the penalty shootout, but Argentina pulled away in the shootout to spoil Mbappé’s sensational tournament.

2. Lionel Messi, Argentina: 7 goals

Lionel Messi continued to step up for his country. The 35-year-old playmaker scored in six of Argentina’s seven matches, and he saved his best for last. 

Messi scored twice against France, scoring a first-half PK and a goal in extra time. He stepped up to the penalty spot once again in the shootout and followed up Mbappé’s make with one of his own.

While Messi did not earn the Golden Boot, he will gladly travel home with the Golden Ball and a World Cup title.

T-3. Olivier Giroud, France: 4 goals

Olivier Giroud tied Thierry Henry as France’s all-time leading men’s goalscorer with a brace against Australia. He scored a go-ahead goal in the 32nd minute and capped off a 4-1 opening victory for the defending World Cup champions with another tally in the 71st minute.

The 36-year-old scored again during France’s 3-1 win over Poland, passing Thierry Henry as France’s all-time leading goalscorer with 52. 

In the quarterfinals against England, Giroud added to his tally with a late header that eventually proved to be the game-winner in the 2-1 triumph. It marked his fourth goal of the tournament.

T-3. Julián Álvarez, Argentina: 4 goals

The 22-year-old lived up to the hype with a brilliant strike against Poland in the group stage to give Argentina a 2-0 lead.

Alvarez’s second goal was less artistry and more grit, but nonetheless found the back of the net for his second goal of the tournament. The Australian goalkeeper fumbled his touch on the pass back and the young Argentine just capitalized with one clean strike to double the lead.

Alvarez seriously entered the conversation for the Golden Boot in the semifinals against Croatia. He showed his arsenal of skills, chipping in a shot and drilling a volley, to record a brace en route to the World Cup finals.

T-5. Cody Gakpo, Netherlands: 3 goals

Cody Gakpo has been a rising star in the opening stage of the World Cup. The 23-year-old PSV winger has scored in all of the Netherlands’ matches so far with a header against Senegal, a left-footed rocket against Ecuador and a right-footed strike against Qatar.

T-5. Marcus Rashford, England: 3 goals

Marcus Rashford scored his first World Cup in style, coming on in the second half against Iran and scoring all in the same minute. Harry Kane swung the ball from the midfield to Rashford who casually stepped around the Iranian defense to slot the ball into the back of the net for England’s fifth goal on the day.

After starting the first two group games on the bench, Rashford made a serious case for himself in the starting lineup against Wales. He scored a brace in England’s 3-0 win — including a beauty directly off a free kick — and helped secure the top spot for Group B in the knockout round.

T-5. Goncalo Ramos, Portugal: 3 goals

Until Tuesday, Goncalo Ramos was relatively unknown, buried in the lineup behind Cristiano Ronaldo. Ramos made sure to change that against Switzerland, entering the lineup in place of Ronaldo and netting the first hat trick of the 2022 World Cup. 

It remains to be seen what Portuguese manager Fernando Santos does with the lineup going forward, but Ramos certainly made it hard to keep him on the bench.

T-5. Bukayo Saka, England: 3 goals

Bukayo Saka helped set the tone for England with two goals in a 6-2 victory over Iran in his team’s Group B opener. Saka’s opening-game performance made him the third youngest World Cup goalscorer in England’s history behind teammate Jude Bellingham, who also scored in the Three Lions’ victory, and Michael Owen.

After Saka’s tournament debut, he was relatively quiet through the group stage, but scored his third goal in the knockout round against Senegal.

T-5. Richarlison, Brazil: 3 goals

Richarlison not only has two goals – he got them in style. The Tottenham forward gave Brazil a 1-0 lead in his country’s first match against Serbia before scoring the early goal of the tournament with a scissor kick in the 72nd minute.

He continued to put on a show in Brazil’s round of 16 win over South Korea, this time getting his teammates involved. After several quick little headers, Richarlison got the ball to Thiago Silva who slotted it right back to him for the shot. 

T-5. Enner Valencia, Ecuador: 3 goals

Enner Valencia wasted no time getting on the scoreboard with two first-half goals in the tournament opener against Qatar. He could’ve had three were it not for a VAR offsides call in the third minute. 

The 33-year-old then etched his name into the record books in Ecuador’s second match against the Netherlands. He scored an equalizer in the 49th minute and became the first South American player to score six straight goals for his country in World Cup history.

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