Top Goalscorer World Cup – A Betting Guide to the Top Scorer Market

The 2022 World Cup in Qatar will feature some of the finest players on the planet, but which one will top the goalscoring charts at the tournament? 

Our comprehensive guide will help you decide who will come out on top and join the list of famous players who have won the Golden Boot. 

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How to Bet on the Top Goalscorer 

Football fans will be in their element during 2022, with the World Cup in Qatar offering thousands of opportunities to wager on the prestigious tournament. 

One of the most popular markets with Irish punters is undoubtedly the World Cup top goalscorer betting, with some great value to be had if you choose the right player. 

For example, Harry Kane was available at 16/1 to be top scorer ahead of the 2018 World Cup, and duly obliged with six goals as England reached the semi-finals. 

Many bookmakers have already priced up the top scorer market for the 2022 World Cup, and odds will also be available throughout the final tournament. 

The question on every football fan’s lips ahead of Qatar is who will claim the Golden Boot this time around? Our in-depth WC betting guide will help you decide! 

Strategy to Bet on the Top Goalscorer 

Unlike the outright World Cup market, choosing the top goalscorer at the tournament does not necessarily require you to focus solely on the big nations. Here are the key elements to consider:

  • Big-Name Strikers: Highly-rated strikers often do well at the World Cup. Kane, Miroslav Klose, Ronaldo and Gary Lineker are amongst the previous winners of the Golden Boot.
  • Recent Form: As with any football market, it can pay to follow form in the top scorer market. For instance, Kane scored 41 goals in 48 appearances for Tottenham Hotspur during the 2017/18 season and took that form into the World Cup.
  • Draw: The World Cup draw can play a crucial role in who finishes as top scorer. For example, Colombia’s favourable draw in 2014 helped James Rodriguez win the award despite his team only reaching the quarter-finals.


As we have already mentioned, Kane (2018) and Rodriguez (2014) have been the top scorers in the last two editions of the World Cup.

Their six-goal tally has been a popular winning total over the years, with eight of the last eleven Golden Boot winners claiming the award with six goals.

German players have fared well during the 21st century, with Klose and Thomas Muller each recording first and second place finishes in the top scorer rankings during that period.

Just Fontaine’s 13-goal haul for France in 1958 is unlikely to be beaten as modern defenders are more adept at making things difficult for forwards.


Any goals scored during the 90 minutes or extra-time count towards a player’s final tally in the top scorer ranking at the World Cup. However, goals scored in a penalty shoot-out are not included.

If players are tied at the end of the tournament, FIFA uses a series of tie-breakers to determine the final outcome.

These include who has scored fewer goals from penalties, the player with more assists and the player who has played the least amount of time.

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Who are the Favourites? 

There are plenty of familiar names in the top goalscorer World Cup market. The leading bookmakers have placed these players at the top of the betting:

  • Lionel Messi (Argentina)
  • Neymar (Brazil)
  • Kylian Mbappe (France)
  • Harry Kane (England)
  • Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
  • Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
  • Memphis Depay (Netherlands)
  • Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
  • Lautaro Martinez (Argentina)

The top 10 list of potential top scorers at the 2022 World Cup reads like a who’s who of the top attacking talent on the planet.

Messi’s inclusion is no surprise given that this will probably be his last World Cup, although he has never previously won the Golden Boot.

Martinez could be the value bet in the Argentina squad, with the Inter Milan star shining at club and international level in recent times.

Brazil star Neymar finished third in 2014 with four goals, but he does not appeal as a likely winner this time around.

Kane will fancy his chances of retaining the title after scoring 12 goals in eight qualifying games for England – a tally matched by Netherlands forward Memphis Depay.

However, the standout bet may well be Mbappe, particularly if France receive a favourable draw during the group stage.

World Cup Top Goalscorers

The World Cup top goalscorers list is as follows:

  • 1958 – Just Fontaine (France) – 13 goals
  • 1954 – Sandor Kocsis (Hungary) – 11 goals
  • 1970 – Gerd Muller (Germany) – 10 goals
  • 1966 – Eusebio (Portugal) – nine goals
  • 2002 – Ronaldo (Brazil) – eight goals
  • 1950 – Ademir (Brazil) – eight goals
  • 1930 – Guillermo Stabile (Argentina) – eight Goals
  • 1974 – Grzegorz Lato (Poland) – seven goals
  • 1938 – Leonidas (Brazil) – seven goals
  • 2018 – Harry Kane (England) – six goals
  • 2014 – James Rodriguez (Colombia) – six goals
  • 1998 – Davor Suker (Croatia) – six goals
  • 1994 – Oleg Salenko (Russia), Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) – six goals
  • 1990 – Salvator Schillachi (Italy) – six goals
  • 1986 – Gary Lineker (England) – six goals
  • 1982 – Paolo Rossi (Italy) – six goals
  • 1978 – Mario Kempes (Argentina) – six goals
  • 2010 – Diego Forlan (Uruguay), Thomas Muller (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain) – five goals
  • 2006 – Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 5 goals
  • 1934 – Oldrich Nejedly (Czechoslovakia) – five goals
  • 1962 – Florian Albert (Hungary), Garrincha (Brazil), Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Union), Drazan Jerkovic (Yugoslavia), Leonel Sanchez (Chile), Vava (Brazil) – four goals
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Betting on the Underdogs 

History has shown that there can be surprise winners in the top goalscorer World Cup market, with Rodriguez’s success in 2014 a prime example. 

Suker (1998) was another unlikely winner in the face of some stiff competition, while Oleg Salenko and Hristo Stoichkov surprisingly shared the prize in 1994. 

However, of the five tournaments staged this century, four of the winners have come from three big nations – Germany (twice), Brazil and England. 

Players from Argentina, Spain and France have also been in the running for the Golden Boot, highlighting how it generally pays to focus on the top teams in the modern era. 

Interesting Facts 

Here are a few interested goals related World Cup facts: 

  • Fastest goal: Hakan Sukur (Turkey) vs South Korea – 11 seconds – 2002. 
  • Fastest hat-trick: Laszlo Kiss (Hungary) vs El Salvador – eight minutes – 1982 
  • Most goals in a match: Oleg Salenko (Russia) vs Cameroon – five – 1994. 
  • Most goals at a single World Cup: Just Fontaine (France) – 13 – 1958. 
  • Most goals at World Cup tournaments: Miroslav Klose (Germany) – 16 – 2002-2014.