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2022 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot Race

By Jeff Stinger

The Qatar World Cup enters the Semi-Finals stage. It’s only fitting that we spotlight one of the tournament’s distinguished awards: the Golden Boot. First introduced in 1982, the award is presented to the top goal scorer or scorers in the event of a tie. Only two rounds remain in a competition that gifted us with impressive goals from nearly every direction.

A hat trick was recorded and came from an unassuming player, Goncalo Ramos. He hit the back of the net three times as he took Cristiano Ronaldo’s place in Portugal’s starting XI. The list goes on from here. We’ve seen Kylian Mbappe carry France to the final eight of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a dominant performance that helped France secure the 3-1 victory over Poland. With that, we get closer to the top contenders and possible award recipients.

2022 FIFA World Cup Golden Boot Contenders

READ MORE: 2022 FIFA World Cup Semi-Final Picture

Kylian Mbappe

The Paris Saint-Germain forward opened his account with a goal against Australia in France’s opening Group D. The 23-year-old followed this up with a pair of goals against Denmark as Les Bleus booked their spot in the Round of 16. Although he failed to find the net and suffered an upset defeat against Tunisia, he added two more goals to his account in a 3-1 victory against Poland in the first knockout stage. Mbappe failed to score in France’s 2-1 quarter-final win over England but tops the Golden Boot race with five goals to his name and a strong (odds) winner of the award.

Lionel Messi

The Argentinian sensation keeps his World Cup hopes alive after a close call against the Netherlands in the quarter-final. This is possibly Lionel Messi’s final appearance in the prestigious tournament at 35 years of age. The forward scored his first goal of the tournament in a shock Group C defeat to Saudi Arabia. He quickly bounced back from the loss with a score and an assist to Enzo Fernandez to get their first win of the tournament over Mexico.

Following a challenging group stage, Argentina made its way to the knockouts with Messi playing a pivotal role in their 2-1 win over Australia. He put the South American side ahead with a composed low strike for his 94th international goal and a ticket to the quarter-finals. The PSG forward proved his value to the squad with a goal and an assist in a win over the Dutch to bring his tally up to four goals as the tournament’s (odds) top goalscorer.

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud put his name in French history books after surpassing Thierry Henry to become his country’s all-time top scorer. The man from AC Milan netted his 52nd international goal in 117 appearances in a comfortable 3-1 win over Poland. The 36-year-old is the unexpected frontrunner of the award, but he fought to become an odds favorite to win, right behind his teammate Kylian Mbappe.

Giroud leveled with Henry on 51 goals after scoring a pair of goals in France’s comfortable 4-1 win over Australia in the group stage and scored in France’s 2-1 nail-biter win over England. His next challenge comes in the form of a tough Morocco team, who are yet to concede a goal in the knockouts.

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