Many names are expected to compete for the “Golden Boot” award throughout the 2022 World Cup, which Qatar will host in a few days.
The International Football Association “FIFA” sometimes accredits the goalscorers of the World Cup before 1982 as “Golden Boot” players, but that award appeared for the first time with this name during the version hosted by Spain, to continue until now.
But many changes have occurred to the criteria for determining the winner over the years.
For example, if two players are equal in the number of goals, the player who scored fewer goals from penalty kicks becomes the preferred player. Then another factor comes in the number of goals the player made in the tournament, which are the adjustments that were made in 1994, but did not last long.
In 2006, the top scorer criterion became the number of minutes he played. If there is a tie between two players in the number of goals, the player who participated for a smaller number of minutes will be judged, which means that he has a higher scoring average compared to his participation. This standard is still in force.
In general, when looking at the record of the winners of the Golden Boot, we will not find names such as Pele, Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, but you will find others who decided to enter the history of the World Cup through a distinguished portal.
Argentine gold shoes
In the first FIFA World Cup, Uruguay won the title, but the top scorer was Argentina’s Guillermo Stabile, who scored 8 goals.
For years, it was believed that “Stabile” was the owner of the first “hat-trick” in the history of the World Cup, but documents that were officially proven by “FIFA” in 2006, recognized that the owner of the first “hat-trick” World Cup was the American, “Bert Patenaud” after the identity of one of the goals changed in The match is in his favour, after he was documented as a reverse goal for dozens of years.
After 48 years, Argentine Mario Kempes became the second to add to his country the “Golden Boot” title, after he contributed to his country’s crowning the title in 1978 by scoring 6 goals.
The World Cup was taking its first steps in history, when the Czech “Oldrich Niedeli” appeared, who is considered one of the greatest players in Czechoslovakia’s history.
Niedeli was the top scorer in the 1934 edition that was held in Italy, with 5 goals.
Rarely also Colombia appears through an exceptional version presented by James Rodriguez in 2014, when he won the award for the best player in the World Cup, as well as the top scorer with 6 goals.
No Brazilian has won the World Cup “Golden Boot” since Ronaldo snatched it in 2002 with 8 goals.
The former World Cup historical scorer is at the top of the list of Brazilians who have been the top scorer in the World Cup in different versions.
The beginning was with “Leonidas”, who topped the list of top scorers in the 1938 finals in France with 7 goals, and then “Ademir”, who had 8 goals, did not satisfy the “samba dancers” in order to avoid defeat at their famous “Maracana” stadium in 1950, and lose the title to Uruguay.
In 1962 in Chile, Garrincha and Vava scored 4 goals each.
Lots of scorers
It was not only Brazilians Garrincha and Vava who were the top scorers in the Chile finals.
Hungarian Florian Albert, Chilean Lionel Sanchez, Soviet Valentin Ivanov and Yugoslavian Dragan Zhirkovic scored 4 goals each.
After the disintegration
Other than Florian Albert, another Hungarian, Volrian Kosic, was the top scorer in the 1954 finals hosted by Switzerland, when he scored 11 goals in one edition.
By the 1994 finals, the idea of the Soviet Union was dead, but the US-hosted top scorer proved Soviet dominance.
Russia’s Oleg Salenko and Bulgarian Hristo Stoichkov were the top scorers in the finals with 6 goals each.
As for Yugoslavian Dragan Djerkovic, his achievement was not repeated by his countrymen except Davor Suker, who scored 6 goals in the 1998 finals in France, and led Croatia, “one of the products of the Yugoslav disintegration”, to third place in a historic achievement at the time.
What Cristiano Ronaldo Didn’t Do
Cristiano Ronaldo is preparing for his fifth consecutive World Cup, and in all of his previous four appearances, his World Cup scoring legacy has not matched his career goals.
But the list of World Cup scorers was not without the Portuguese, as Eusebio achieved the title of top scorer in the 1966 edition hosted by England, when he performed exceptionally and scored 9 goals.
Will Lewandowski repeat it?
The levels of the Polish team in the last two decades did not help their captain Robert Lewandowski to achieve a legacy of scoring goals in the World Cup.
The current Barcelona player does not have any World Cup goals in his career, so will he repeat in Qatar what Gregor Lato did 48 years ago?
The Polish Lato was crowned as the top scorer of the 1974 World Cup, hosted by West Germany, with 7 goals.
64 years have passed, and no one has been able to equal the achievement of Just Fontaine.
The Frenchman has a historic World Cup record, when he scored 13 goals in the 1958 edition of Sweden, where he is considered the player to score the most goals in one edition of the World Cup.
Portuguese Eusebio, German Gerd Muller and Brazilian Ronaldo, are the closest they tried to break the record later, but to no avail.
“Paolo Rossi” has an epic story when he came out of a prison sentence to join Italy’s list in 1982, and contribute to his country’s crowning of the title on Spanish soil.
Rossi is the top scorer in that World Cup with 6 goals.
With the same number of goals, “Salvatore Schillaci” topped the list of top scorers in the 1990 World Cup, which his country hosted, but it was not enough to secure the title for the owners of the land.
The Muller family’s legacy
In the 1970 finals in Mexico, West Germany was content with third place, but one of its exceptional players, “Gerd Muller”, had a historic participation when he scored 10 goals in that edition.
After 40 years, Thomas Muller repeated the German achievement when he topped the list of top scorers in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with 5 goals, with fewer minutes of playing than Spain’s David Villa and Dutchman Wesley Sneijder, who scored the same number of goals.
The Qatar 2022 finals may be a last chance for Muller to break the record of his compatriot, “Miroslav Klose”, who leads the World Cup scorer list throughout history with 16 goals.
Muller needs 6 goals to equal the number of his compatriot Klose, who was the top scorer in the 2006 finals hosted by his country with 5 goals.
Kane follows in Lineker’s footsteps
English Gary Lineker is one of the most prominent scorers in English football throughout its history, and he was the top scorer in the 1986 finals hosted by Mexico, with 6 goals.
Reaching the 2018 finals, no other Englishman was the top scorer at any edition of the Finals, until Harry Kane broke that rule, scoring the same number of Lineker goals in Mexico.
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