Battle for 3rd: Belgium vs England (Saturday, July 14, 10 pm)
Final: France vs Croatia (Sunday, July 15, 11 pm)
Live on S+A, S+A HD, LIGA, LIGA HD, and via livestreaming
MANILA, Philippines – From 32 teams, it is now down to France and Croatia to fight for the 2018 FIFA World Cup crown. But there's also the Golden Boot, the honor given to the competition’s top goal scorer.
Here are the frontrunners – the players who gifted fans with impressive headers, improbable free kick rockets, and dramatic rebounds – for the top individual plum.
England’s captain came into the tourney on a mission: to bring back the trophy to his country. They haven’t won since 1966 and Hurricane Harry has been sensational at the get go, finding the net 6 times and making England a favorite to win it all. Even if he failed to get the Three Lions past Croatia in the semifinals, the Golden Boot is his to lose unless another player goes berserk in the Battle for Third and the Final where the likes of French wunderkind Kylian Mbappe and his teammate Antoine Griezmann will surely put on a show.
Lukaku was prolific for Manchester United in the past season, being the Red Devils’ top forward and scorer. He clearly translated that play to the Belgian squad starting alongside Chelsea star Eden Hazard and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian is actually tied for second among the top goal scorers with 4, alongside Russia’s Denis Cheryshev and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who were able to score in fewer minutes compared to him. He has a chance to overtake Cheryshev and Ronaldo when Belgium plays England for third place on Saturday.
There’s no doubt that the darling of this year’s World Cup is the young speedster for the Les Bleus. It’s like throwing yourselves back in 2002 when a then-18-year-old Wayne Rooney made noise for England. Reviews have been short of ravishing for the 19-year old forward for French powerhouse club Paris Saint-Germain as he is said to have the speed of Messi, the charisma of Brazilian legend Pele, and the quality of play by French star Thierry Henry as observed by former Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. Mbappe has cashed in on goal thrice this tournament and a hat trick in the final match can put him side by side England’s Kane in the race for the Golden Boot.
Griezmann has been nothing short of phenomenal for the Les Bleus in the World Cup. While everyone has been enamored by his 19-year-old teammate Kylian Mbappe, Griezmann has been methodical in killing off other squads as he finishes plays from the likes of Olivier Giroud, Paul Pogba, and Blaise Matuidi. He has found the goal 3 times already throughout the tournament and can still make a run for the Golden Boot, which in the event of a tie will be going to the player with more assists. If the assists are still tied, it will go to the one who played fewer minutes.
With Portugal making an exit in the Round of 16, Ronaldo’s chances to win either the Golden Boot or Golden Ball have gone down. That still does not diminish however, the astonishing performance of Juventus’ newest acquisition in carrying the entire Portugal side past the group stages thanks to his incredible goal-manufacturing abilities, the most memorable of which, is a free kick rocket over a wall of Spanish defenders. Ronaldo still managed to tally 4 goals, which sets him as contender for at least a Silver Boot, which is handed to the tournament’s second leading scorer. – Rappler.com