Modern football players are global icons, famed celebrities who grab the media spotlight, fans following their every action on and off the pitch. This year many of the biggest names will be appearing at the 2023 World Cup in Qatar, eager to showcase their talents and lift the most iconic prize in the game. But there are other awards available for players, based upon their performance at the tournament.
One of the most prominent is the Golden Boot award, and this will be presented to the player who tops the scoring charts, making for an exciting chase when it comes to getting goals. There are even markets dedicated to this award at major bookmakers, and World Cup spread betting has quickly gained much attention, offering potentially improved rewards for the increased risk involved. This makes checking reviews and guides essential beforehand.
But which international superstars are being tipped to claim this prestigious award? Let’s take a look at the five leading candidates, according to the latest betting markets for the Golden Boot award, along with the countries they represent and their chances of enjoying an amazing 2023 World Cup.
1. Karim Benzema – France
While he may have been at the top of his game for well over a decade, currently in his 14th season at Spanish giants Real Madrid, the appreciation for Karim Benzema really took its time to arrive. Enjoying something of an Indian summer at this latter stage of his career, the fabulous French forward won the coveted Ballon d’Or Award this year, finally recognising him as the best player in the world.
Having missed out when France triumphed at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, there is no doubt Benzema will be wanting to make up for lost time, determined to take each and every opportunity that comes his way. The 34-year-old will use every ounce of his vast experience and ability, aiming to help France take the title again collectively, along with aiming for personal glory at the most important football tournament of them all.
2. Neymar – Brazil
The first of three fantastic players on this list who represent club side Paris Saint-Germain, the dazzling creative skills and exceptional scoring ability of Neymar is well established. Often regarded as one of the most fascinating players in the modern game, both on and off the pitch, the 30-year-old is likely to be the most prominent attacking component for his country, even though Brazil has nine strikers named in their squad by head coach Tite.
But while Brazil certainly boasts an abundance of goalscoring talents, there is no doubting that if they are to live up to expectations as the 2023 World Cup favourites, the iconic team in yellow must use Neymar to their full advantage. He will most likely be at the front and centre of their best performances, making the side tick when flooding forward on the attack, assuming the priceless role of both creating and finishing moves.
3. Lionel Messi – Argentina
If there is one player who needs little introduction, it is the second player on this list who plays his club football at Paris Saint-Germain, albeit having arrived there after spending practically the entirety of his remarkable career at Barcelona. We are talking about none other than Lionel Messi, of course, widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time, although this magician of the beautiful game has never actually won the World Cup.
What makes this all the more interesting, 35-year-old Messi has confirmed retirement from international football will happen, once his participation at the 2023 FIFA World Cup is complete. This will arguably give Argentina even greater desire to succeed, because on top of winning the tournament for the passionate fans back home, the whole team will be keen to help Messi bow out in the blaze of glory he so thoroughly deserves.
4. Kylian Mbappe – France
The third and final attacking star from Paris Saint-Germain to feature here, Kylian Mbappe was born and raised in the French capital, just a short distance from both their Parc des Princes venue and the Stade de France national stadium. Widely regarded as being one of the best amidst a new golden generation of super-talented footballers, Mbappe already has 28 goals in 59 appearances for his national team.
When the tournament begins in Qatar on 20 November, coincidentally, Mbappe will celebrate his 24th birthday. Absolutely no coincidence is the fact that bookies have tipped him for the Golden Boot award, given that his keen eye for goals will be priceless for France, as they seek to defend the World Cup title they won in 2018. Mbappe in top form is an absolute joy to behold, therefore his progress will be observed with the greatest scrutiny and interest.
5. Harry Kane – England
Very much in the mould of a classic center-forward, boasting enviable prowess on the ground with the ball at his feet and in the air leaping for headers, Harry Kane is one of the most feared attacking players in the global game. At club side Tottenham Hotspur, the Premier League Golden Boot award has been won 3 times by Kane, while he also won the Golden Boot award at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, as England reached the semi-finals of that competition.
Kane has already proven his capabilities on the biggest stage in football, which is undoubtedly why bookmakers fancy him to top the scoring charts again, expecting the England striker to show the same kind of lethal finishing. What’s more, if the Three Lions are to lift the trophy for the first time since 1966, they will need Kane to demonstrate the best of his form, acting as the tip of the lance in their charge to win the 2023 World Cup.