Manuel Veth –
Some prestigious names have finished as the top scorer at a World Cup, among them Eusebio (Portugal, 1966), Gerd Müller (West Germany, 1970), Gary Lineker (England, 1986) and Ronaldo (Brazil, 2002). With the 2018 version of the finals tournament upcoming, sports betting fans are beginning to place their money on whom they think will be the player to stick the most goals in the Russian onion bag.
The leading amount of cash at the moment is being plonked on the Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi winning the goal scorer award. Messi has had another goal-bloated season with Barcelona, but questions must be raised concerning how far Argentina are likely to progress in the competition. ‘La Albiceleste’ only just qualified for the finals, and were recently hammered 6-1 by Spain. Messi may only have three or four games in which to find the net.
Smarter money is being placed on Messi’s former teammate Neymar. The €222 million man has average a goal-per-game for Paris Saint-Germain this season but is currently sidelined with a hairline foot fracture. Expect the Brazilian to be fit for the finals though, and with Brazil likely to make it to the semi-finals at least, Neymar will have plenty of games in which to find the net.
Football people ‘in the know’ are backing Neymar’s teammate Edinson Cavani and Messi’s teammate Luis Suarez to be in with a real chance of ending up with the Golden Boot. Bettors reason that in Group A Uruguay will be coming up against three leaky defences in Russia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. No matter how far Uruguay progresses, Cavani and/or Suarez are likely to lead the way as soon as the group stages are over regarding goals scored.
England’s Harry Kane is also listed among those expected to be in with a chance of being the top goal scorer overall all at the finals, with some bookies quoting the Tottenham hit-man as tightly as 17/1 (18.00). Please note that these are the odds on Kane being the leading goalscorer overall, and not being the player whom scores England’s only goal of the tournament, which seems far more likely, and could be one of the best tips for Russia going.
One slightly unfamiliar name garnering a lot of action in the top goal scorer stakes is Timo Werner. The German youngster has only been an international for a year or so but is showing every sign that he could soon be following in the footsteps of German legends Jürgen Klinsmann and Miroslav Klose. He’s not as prolific as some of the other names mentioned above but is likely to be Germany’s main hope for goals alongside Thomas Müller.
Speaking of Müller. Werner’s teammate is another excellent bet to be among the top goal scorers in Russia. The attacking midfielder already has ten World Cup goals to his name – scored in just two tournaments – and is the favourite to one day pass Klose’s all-time World Cup goal total of 15 goals.
Other names in the mix include Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, France’s Antoine Griezmann, Brazil’s Gabriel Jesus and Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku. It’s all a bit of a lottery, though, but at the end of the tournament, it is hard to see past Neymar, should he be fit, to win the crown of the finals’ leading goalscorer.
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others works for the Bundesliga and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Originally from Munich, Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently is located in Victoria BC, Canada. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth. Or contact him via email: [email protected]