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Race for the Golden Boot

By Paul Downey.

With the World Cup just getting underway, we examine the potential forwards who could scoop this tournament Golden Boot.

Gonzalo Higuain – Argentina (5 Caps/2 goals) – The Real Madrid forward was second only to Lionel Messi’s incredible 47 goals in La Liga last year, and at 22 years old could be Argentina’s secret weapon.

Lionel Messi – Argentina (44 caps/13  goals  ) – Despite a quiet qualifying campaign, Messi has the individual ability to change a game in a split second. Given Argentina’s weaker group he could have amassed a good haul going into the Knockout Phase.

Fernando Torres – Spain (73 caps/24 goals) – El Nino had a subdued campaign at crisis club Liverpool, but he can put that behind him a reunite with fellow goal machine strike partner David Villa as the Spaniards aim to win back-to-back trophies.

David Villa – Spain (58 caps/38 goals) – After winning the golden boot at Euro 2008, Barcelona’s latest acquisition will be looking to fire his country to World glory, and is probably at the peak of his powers. His International pedigree can’t be questioned, a strong bet.

Wayne Rooney – England (60 caps/25 goals) – England’s main hope, provided he is fit. He can score with both feet and as he has proven this season, with his head. Under Capello’s tutorship he represents England’s first genuine hope of winning a major tournament arguably since Euro 96.

Miroslav Klose – Germany (96 caps/48 goals) – Top scorer for his country in the past two World Cups, and needs five goals to equal the record set by Ronaldo (Brazilian one) of 15 back in 2006. Hasn’t had as much game time as he would of wished at Bayern Munich this season, but could finish disappointing season on a high.

Luis Fabiano – Brazil – (36 caps/25 goals) – The prolific Sevilla man looks like Brazil’s best shot of a golden boot win. He is likely to be the focal point of their attacks, supported by Kaka and Robinho. This incarnation of Brazil has alot of defence steel, and they could rely heavily on Fabiano’s contribution. His record at club level (21 goals for Sevilla last season) and for Brazil makes him a strong contender.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal (72 caps/22 goals) – The former Manchester Utd winger averages a goal roughly every three games for his country. Also his ability on set pieces as well as in the air make him an outside bet, provided Portugal can negotiate their way out of the ‘Group of Death’.

Didier Drogba – Ivory Coast (68 caps/44 goals) – After a phenomenal season in front of goal for Chelsea, Drogba could be the man to fire the Ivory Coast into the knockout stages. On his day he is unplayable, although he could only be available for 2  group games, his goals and presence will be vital if the Elephants are to progress.

Notable mentions:

Diego Forlan, Thierry Henry, Sergio Aguero, Robin van Persie, Alberto Gillardino, Emile Heskey (only joking!)

Is there anyone we’ve missed, a surprise package perhaps? Feel free to let us know…

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