When the Golden Boot Pursuit was introduced at the 1930 FIFA World Cup, Uruguay’s Guillermo Stábile became the first player to claim it with 8 goals. During 1958’s World Cup, Just Fontaine arrested this title scoring record 13 goals (the highest goal tally in world cup) and Germany’s Thomas Muller won it in the last World Cup.
Just as the FIFA World Cup Trophy acknowledges efforts and game spirit for the best team in the tournament, the golden boot recognizes the most impressive individual goal scorers. As 32 teams clash in for the world title, there’s always a silent yet obvious pursuit among the strikers to score for the golden boot prize. Although, every team has a competing striker as nominee, there can only be one winner for the title and the following 6 horses lead the race by a comfortable margin.
6. Sergio Agüero
If Manchester city should show gratitude for their 2012 league title, he’s surely going to be Sergio Agüero. Before making his senior debut for Argentina in 2006, Sergio Agüero won the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2005 and again in 2007. Nick named “Kun”, Agüero joined Atlético Madrid for €23 million and was the FIFA Young Player of the Year 2007. Agüero moved to Manchester City in 2011 and in his 122 appearance the number 16 has scored 75 goals. He has been impressive with his game style and scored 21 goals in 47 caps for Argentina.
5. Robin van Persie
From Arsenal to Manchester United, it seems like Robin just can’t stop scoring. The Dutch forward has represented his nation from U-17 to the crucial qualifiers this year. Persie joined the Gunners in 2004 and moulded himself to a world-class striker pairing with legendry Thierry Henry. Robin was titled with Dutch Football Talent of the Year in 2001, Arsenal top goalscorer for four years and twice Premier League Golden Boot award. With his perpetual hunger for goals, Netherlands should definitely expect two golden awards this time around.
4. Luis Suarez
If Liverpool was more or less in the chase for this year’s league title, there’s only one man the club should thank and that’s Luis Suarez. In 2006, Suarez debuted for Uruguay and joined Groningen. But what made the Uruguayan footballer a deadly striker on the green pitch was his move to Liverpool in 2011. In his 133 for the English club, Suarez has scored 82 goals with an average of 40 per season. For his brilliant scoring sense, Suarez won Premier League Golden Boot and European Golden Shoe, which makes him fourth on the list.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo
Award and goals, two things you can’t fail to spot with Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese number 7 is a goal scorer, magician with the ball and a menace for oppositions. Two times winner the FIFA/Ballon d’Or award for the best footballer, Ronaldo has thrice won the European Golden Shoe in 2008, 2011 and 2014. In his impressive record with Madrid, Ronaldo is the fastest club player to reach 100 league goals and first to reach 40 goals in a single season. If not all, his present tally of 49 makes Cristiano the all-time leading goal scorers for Portuguese and one unwavering challenger for the title.
2. Neymar da Silva
This exceptionally talented forward is certainly the guide to Brazil’s road to glory. Neymar, who won the South American Footballer of the Year award in 2011 at 19, has some impressive records to his name. Neymar is twice the South American Footballer of the Year and Brazilian golden boot winner and has recently won the FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball 2013. After his remarkable performances for Brazil’s U-17 team and U-19 team, Neymar will be eyeing to bring home the title with his incredible goal scoring talent.
1. Lionel Messi
The forward for Argentina is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer and also the youngest player to score 200 goals in La Liga. His extraordinary dribbling and goal scoring tendency makes the little power pack a threat for any opposition. Messi is three times winner to the FIFA Ballon d’Or award and also the World Soccer Player of the Year. He probably has the most individual titles to his names and with his 91 goals last season Messi holds Guinness World Records title for the most goals in a year. All these records are just the past as the new golden glory awaits him and Argentina.