FIFA World Cup being the ultimate prize, but as an individual award, the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot award as extremely important as scoring goals is all that matters in our game
Football’s biggest global showpiece, however, also offers several individual awards at the end of each edition, providing players an opportunity to etch their names in the history books.
The Golden Ball, for example, is given out to the best player of each FIFA World Cup edition while the Golden Glove goes to the goalkeepers with the most clean sheets. For attacking players, the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot Award, given to the top scorer of each edition, is the holy grail.
Incidentally, the at FIFA World Cups golden boot award only started officially from 1982. It was known as the Golden Shoe award at the time. It came to be known as the Golden Boot, its current iteration, only from 2010.
However, top scorers at previous FIFA World Cup editions are also recognised as Golden Boot winners. The second highest scorer at each football World Cup wins the Silver Boot while the third-highest scorer walks away with the Bronze Boot.
Argentina’s Guillermo Stabile, hence, is the first FIFA World Cup Golden Boot award winner, top scoring at the 1930 FIFA World Cup in Uruguay, the inaugural edition, with eight goals.
Until 1994, the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot award could be shared between multiple top scorers.
The first instance the Golden Boot was shared among players was in the 1962 edition held in Chile. Six players – Hungary’s Florian Albert, Soviet Union’s Valentin Ivanov, Brazil’s Garrincha and Vava, Yugoslavia’s Drazan Jerkovic and the host nation’s Leonel Sanchez – finished as joint top-scorers with four goals each.
Starting from the 1994 edition, a tie-breaker system was introduced by FIFA to pick out a definitive winner.
The tie-breaker system stated that if two or more players ended with the same number of goals, the player with the most non-penalty goals scored wins the Golden Boot. If players were still tied, the one with more assists wins the award.
However, it didn’t stop Russia’s Oleg Salenko and Bulgaria’s Hristo Stoichkov from sharing the Golden Boot in 1994 as both finished with six goals and one assist.
Oleg Salenko, to date, remains the only FIFA World Cup Golden Boot winner whose team was eliminated in the group stages in the year that saw him win the prestigious award. Five of Salenko’s six goals came in a match against Cameroon and still stands as the record for the most goals scored by any player in a single FIFA World Cup match.
Starting 2006, a new layer was added to the tie-break rule. If players could not be separated after the first two criteria, the one who played the lesser number of minutes would be considered the winner.
The tie-break rule came into play once again after the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa with Germany’s Thomas Muller, Spain’s David Villa, the Netherlands’ Wesley Sneijder and Uruguay’s Diego Forlan all finishing with five goals each.
Thomas Muller won the Golden Boot at that edition, courtesy his three assists. The others had one assist each. David Villa, meanwhile, pipped Wesley Sneijder to the Silver Boot since he had played fewer minutes than the Dutchman.
Just Fontaine of France won the Golden Boot in 1958 and his 13 goals in Sweden remains the most goals scored by a player at a single FIFA World Cup edition.
Kylian Mbappe won the Golden boot after scoring a hat-trick in the final and scoring total 8 goals in 2022 World Cup.
No player in football history has ever won the Golden Boot twice.
Here are all the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot award winner since 1930.
FIFA World Cup Golden Boot award winners:
|Number||FIFA World Cup Edition||Top Goalscorer (Country)||Goals Scored|
|1||Uruguay 1930||Guillermo Stabile (Argentina)||8|
|2||Italy 1934||Oldrich Nejedly (Czech Republic)||5|
|3||France 1938||Leonidas (Brazil)||7|
|4||Brazil 1950||Ademir (Brazil)||8|
|5||Switzerland 1954||Sandor Kocsis (Hungary)||11|
|6||Sweden 1958||Just Fontaine (France)||13|
|7||Chile 1962||Florian Albert (Hungary) Valentin Ivanov (Soviet Union) Garrincha (Brazil) Vava (Brazil) Drazan Jerkovic (Yugoslavia) Leonel Sanchez (Chile)||4|
|8||England 1966||Eusebio (Portugal)||9|
|9||Mexico 1970||Gerd Muller (Germany)||10|
|10||West Germany 1974||Grzegorz Lato (Poland)||7|
|11||Argentina 1978||Mario Kempes (Argentina)||6|
|12||Spain 1982||Paolo Rossi (Italy)||6|
|13||Mexico 1986||Gary Lineker (England)||6|
|14||Italy 1990||Salvatore Schillaci (Italy)||6|
|15||USA 1994||Oleg Salenko (Russia) Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria)||6|
|16||France 1998||Davor Suker (Croatia)||6|
|17||South Korea/Japan 2002||Ronaldo (Brazil)||8|
|18||Germany 2006||Miroslav Klose (Germany)||5|
|19||South Africa 2010||Thomas Muller (Germany)||5|
|20||Brazil 2014||James Rodríguez (Colombia)||6|
|21||Russia 2018||Harry Kane (England)||6|
|22||Qatar 2022||Kylian Mbappe (France)||8|
Having a clinical striker to lead the attack is very important in doing well at any edition of the tournament. Unless you are Olivier Giroud leading the line for France in World Cup 2018. The French striker ended the tournament with the trophy and the winner’s medal but did not manage a single-goal at the tournament. But Giroud lead the line brilliantly and did exactly what his team and manager asked of him.