The road to Russia 2018 is about to begin with only few days left. It is the first time when Russia will be hosting the biggest football event the FIFA World Cup, a larger-than-life moment that every player, every team, every coach wants to achieve. It's the tournament where every player gives his 100 per cent for the team and prove his mettle at the biggest stage. In football the only way to win the game is to score more goals than the opposition and for that, a team needs players who can hold their nerves to take his team to the victory line.
Last time in Brazil 2014, James Rodriguez of Colombia took the Golden Boot to his home by scoring six goals and made a name for himself in the football world. This World Cup might be the last for players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who would look to achieve the ultimate glory. It will be a do-or-die campaign for them and their performance will matter the most for their team in Russia.
Here is the list of the players who might claim the Golden boot in FIFA World Cup 2018.
Thomas Muller (Germany)
The German midfielder was the stand out performer for the World Cup champions in 2014. Along with former striker Miroslav Klose, the 28-year-old playmaker dominated during the winning campaign of Germany. In absence of striker Leroy Sane, Germany will rely much more on Muller, who has scored 10 World Cup goals till now in his career. He is just six goals away from levelling the highest World Cup goals record of fellow countryman Klose. In his last two World Cup campaigns, Muller scored five goals in each of the editions. All these stats make him one of the top contenders of Golden Boot in Russia 2018.
James Rodriguez (Colombia)
The Colombian midfielder is the player, who can win matches individually with his excellent dribbling and scoring skills. Rodriguez was the shining star of FIFA World Cup 2014, where he won the Golden Boot beating Thomas Muller and Lionel Messi. The 26-year-old midfielder scored 6 goals in the Brazil campaign. Rodriguez won the 2014 Puskas Award for his World Cup goal against Uruguay, which he scored through a blistering volley from a long range that became the highlight of the 2014 World Cup. This year, Colombia will be dependent on Rodriguez to carry the team on his shoulder and retain the Golden Boot.
Neymar Jr. (Brazil)
World's most expensive footballer is returning to the ground after a three-month interval due to a knee injury. Neymar will be boosting Brazil's morale with his presence. Undoubtedly the most skilled player in the world, Neymar has the potential to become the best footballer after the current Messi-Ronaldo era. Last time at home, everything was going in favour of Brazil football team until the star player got injured against Colombia and left the campaign midway. It was a such a big blow for Brazil that they bowed out of the world cup in the very next match against Germany. It was literally a one-sided game, where Germany thrashed Brazil 7-1.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
This might be the last World Cup for the 33-year-old football superstar and Portugal needs him to lift their maiden World Cup. Ronaldo is considered as one of the best players in the business with almost every trophy in his well-decorated cabinet. He is the goal-scoring machine for his club Real Madrid, who recently won their third consecutive Champions League. This is the time for Portuguese number seven to step up for his national side and perform at the biggest stage in football world. He is a strong contender of Golden Boot this time.
Lionel Messi (Argentina)
The greatest player of all time will be heading to Russia with his focus on the ultimate glory. Messi is so far the most complete player to play football, though he hasn't won a World Cup so far. Last time in Brazil, he was one-inch closer to lifting the World Cup trophy but Argentina lost 1-0 to Germany in the final. The 30-year-old winger won the Golden Ball last time and was only two-goal short of winning the Golden Boot award. This time, he is the top contender of Golden Boot as it will be a now-or-never opportunity for the Argentina captain in Russia.
-Written by Aditya Maheshwari