World Cup Golden Boot Race: The battle for the goal prize begins

The race for the World Cup Golden Boot is likely to be hotly contested with Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe likely among the frontrunners. However, it is England star Bukayo Saka who has taken an early lead, joining Ecuador captain Enner Valencia and Iran talisman Medhi Taremi with the trio scoring twice in their opening games.

Three Lions captain Kane is the current holder of the award after scoring six goals in Russia. Mbappé and Ronaldo were second after finding the goal four times, along with Denis Cheryshev, Antonine Griezmann and Romelu Lukaku. The Tottenham star could make history in Qatar by becoming the first player to claim the accolade twice.

However, he will face competition from the likes of Ronaldo and Mbappé, with Lionel Messi, Lautaro Martínez and Neymar also among the bookmakers’ favourites. Most have yet to begin their search for the golden boot with Argentina and France playing their first matches against Saudi Arabia and Australia respectively later today.

Frenchman Just Fontaine holds the record for goals scored in a single competition after finding the net an impressive 13 times during the 1958 World Cup in Sweden. Hungarian Sandor Kocsis with 11 and German legend Gerd Muller with 10 just behind the striker who competes in Qatar dreaming of matching his number.

BBC presenter Gary Lineker is the only Englishman to have won the golden boot other than Kane, scoring six times in Mexico in 1986. Saka is on pole position to join him after two goals against Iran, with Valencia and Taremi accompanying him in that number. .

READ MORE: England fans rage as BBC iPlayer crashes in World Cup clash against Iran

Current race for the Golden Boot

Bukayo Saka (England) 2

Enner Valencia (Ecuador) 2

Medhi Taremi (Iran) 2

Olivier Giroud (France) 2

Raheem Sterling (England) 1

Kylian Mbappe (France) 1

Jude Bellingham (England) 1

Jack Grealish (England) 1

Marcus Rashford (England) 1

Cody Steel (Holland)

Davy Klaassen (Netherlands) 1

Gareth Bale (Wales) 1

Timothy Weah (United States) 1

Leo Messi (Argentina) 1

Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia) 1

Saleh Al Shehri (Saudi Arabia) 1

Craig Goodwin (Australia) 1

Adrien Rabiot (France) 1

previous winners

1930 – Guillermo Stábile (Argentina)

1934 – Oldřich Nejedlý (Czech)

1938 – Leonidas (Brazil)

1950 – Ademir (Brazil)

1954 – Sándor Kocsis (Hungary)

1958 – Just Fontaine (France)

1962 – Flórián Albert (Hungary), Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Union), Garrincha (Brazil), Vavá (Brazil). Dražan Jerković (Yugoslavia), Leonel Sánchez (Chile)

1966 – Eusebio (Portugal)

1970 – Gerd Muller (Germany)

1974 – Grzegorz Lato (Poland)

1978 – Mario Kempes (Argentina)

1982 – Paolo Rossi (Italy)

1986 – Gary Lineker (England)

1990 – Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)

1994: Oleg Salenko (Russia), Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)

1998 – Davor Suker (Croatia)

2002 – Ronaldo (Brazil)

2006 – Miroslav Klose (Germany)

2010 – Thomas Muller (Germany)

2014 – James Rodriguez (Colombia)

2018 – Harry Kane (England)

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