Who Will Win the Golden Boot in the World Cup?
In order to predict this years winner of the top individual goal scorer at the World Cup, I took a look back at the teams where past Golden Boot award winners came from. Over the last six World Cups, the winner has come from a team playing maximum games. Or, in other words, a team that has reached at least the semifinals. Since there's a third place game, semifinal losers get as many games as the finalists, and it goes without saying that more games played equals more chances to boost individual goal totals.
The only exception came at USA ’94, when Oleg Salenko tied Hristo Stoitchkov with six goals apiece. This was a clear aberration, as five of his six came in the last group game against Cameroon, with the Indomitable Lions shipping goals as a way of protesting their federations unpaid player wages. In the last World Cup, there was a four way tie at the top, with Muller, Forlan, Sneijder, and David Villa all banging five into the old onion bag. What did these four players have in common? They all came from teams advancing to the semifinals, further illustrating the need to find this years likely semi’s participants in order to suss out the top scorer. It's also good to note that five of the last six Boot winners have come from teams playing in the third place game, not the final, as third place games typically have higher scoring volume than the final itself.
If we are now under the general agreement that this years winner will come from a team reaching the semis, lets look at which teams are most likely to be there, according to numberFire metrics, or, win odds.
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