Of all the awards that players compete for at the FIFA World Cup, the one that consistently demands the most attention is the Golden Boot.
The Golden Boot, which was formally introduced at the 1982 World Cup, is awarded to the player with the most goals at the end of the tournament. If two or more players have the same amount of goals at the end of the tournament, it’s decided by a tiebreaker based on who has the most non-penalty goals. If the tie still can’t be broken, it’s awarded to the player with the most goals and assists.
This year’s Golden Boot race got off to a roaring start with four separate players scoring three goals in the group stage. Here are the leading active goalscorers through the first round of the knockout stage:
With five goals, Mbappé is only one goal away from tying the Golden Boot-winner from the 2018 World Cup, Harry Kane. If Mbappé holds onto the lead, he’ll become the first Frenchman to ever win the award, though Just Fontaine scored a record 13 goals at the 1958 World Cup. Antoine Griezmann finished second in goals-scoring at the 2018 World Cup.
If either one of Lionel Messi, 35, or Olivier Giroud, 36, win the award, they’ll become the oldest player to win the award. None of the current leading goalscorers would be the youngest to win the award, as Germany’s Thomas Müller won it as a 20-year-old at the 2010 World Cup. Müller was a goal shy of becoming the first two-time Golden Boot winner in 2014.
This story will be updated through the World Cup Final on Dec. 18.
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