Golden Boot Race Set for Exciting Finish in FIFA World Cup Final


The 2022 FIFA World Cup trophy isn’t the only piece of hardware up for grabs in Sunday’s final between Argentina and France.

The race for the Golden Boot, which is awarded to the tournament’s top goal scorer, is set for an exciting finish at Lusail Stadium in Qatar. There’s currently a tie atop the goal-scoring leaderboard between one player from Argentina and one from France, meaning that the winner of the award will come from one of the last two teams standing.

Adding to the intrigue, there’s a tie for third place between a player from each team as well. So, the Silver Boot and Bronze Boot will also be decided in the match.

Before kickoff of the World Cup Final, here’s what to know about the Golden Boot race.

Who has scored the most goals at the 2022 FIFA World Cup?

Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe, two of the tournament’s biggest stars, enter the final tied for the most goals with five apiece.

Right behind them are Argentina’s breakout star Julian Alvarez and France’s all-time leading scorer Olivier Giroud with four goals apiece.

Barring a four-goal effort from someone else in the final, one of those four players will claim the Golden Boot.

What are the Golden Boot tiebreakers?

If two or more players are tied for the most goals by the end of the final, then it goes to tiebreakers.

The first tiebreaker is the most assists, which currently gives Messi a slight edge over Mbappe. Messi has three assists, while Mbappe has two.

The next tiebreaker is the fewest minutes played, a category in which Mbappe has a sizable advantage over Messi (477 to 570) after he didn’t start in France’s 1-0 Group D finale loss to Tunisia.

Neither Alvarez nor Giroud has yet to tally an assist, but Alvarez has logged 19 fewer minutes to give him the current edge for the Bronze Boot. Since they don’t have any assists, both players’ best shot at claiming the award is to leapfrog Messi and Mbappe with a multi-goal effort.

Croatia’s Andrej Kramaric and Morocco’s Youssef En-Nesyri are also lurking with two goals apiece entering the third-place match. So a two-score performance from either player would catapult them into Bronze Boot contention.

Here’s a look at the Golden Boot standings when factoring in tiebreakers:

1. Lionel Messi, Argentina: 5 goals, 3 assists, 570 minutes played

2. Kylian Mbappe, France: 5 goals, 2 assists, 477 minutes played

3. Julian Alvarez, Argentina: 4 goals, 0 assists, 364 minutes played

4. Olivier Giroud, France: 4 goals, 0 assists, 383 minutes played

Have players ever shared the Golden Boot?

Since the award was formally introduced in 1982, there has been one shared Golden Boot. In 1994, Russia’s Oleg Salenko and Bulgaria’s Hristo Stoichkov both finished with six goals to split the honor.

Has the Golden Boot winner ever come from the World Cup champion?

Since 1982, two players have captured the Golden Boot and the World Cup title in the same tournament: Italy’s Paolo Rossi in 1982 and Brazil’s Ronaldo in 2002.

We could, however, see it happen a third time on Sunday.

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