Eusebio to Mbappe – The World Cup Golden Boot winners
Kylian Mbappe snatched the Golden Boot, but not the World Cup, from Lionel Messi’s grasp with a dramatic hat-trick as Argentina edged out France to lift the trophy.
The Argentinian superstar went one ahead of his Paris St Germain team-mate when he opened the scoring in the final with his sixth goal of the tournament with a penalty before Angel Di Maria struck, only for Mbappe to match his feat from the spot and then level with his seventh.
Messi’s extra-time effort looked to have won both the game and the Golden Boot but the Frenchman’s second penalty completed his treble, squared the game once again and took his tally to eight, handing him the prize compatriot Just Fontaine won in Sweden in 1958, despite the heart-breaking shootout defeat which followed.
Here, we take a look back at the previous top scorers since England were crowned world champions in 1966.
1966 England – Eusebio
Winner of the Ballon d’Or the previous year, the Benfica forward scored nine in Portugal’s run to third place, including four goals in one match against North Korea.
1970 Mexico – Gerd Muller
Muller was named European Footballer of the Year in 1970 and the Bayern Munich striker’s 10-goal haul for West Germany remains the third highest ever at a single World Cup.
1974 West Germany – Grzegorz Lato
The only Polish player ever to win the Golden Boot, the winger scored seven times as his country finished third.
1978 Argentina – Mario Kempes
Kempes failed to score in the first round of games but netted twice against both Poland and Peru in the second round of fixtures before his famous double against Holland in the final to take his tournament tally to six goals.
1982 Spain – Paolo Rossi
The Juventus forward led Italy to the World Cup with his six goals. Like Kempes before him, Rossi was also named player of the tournament.
1986 Mexico – Gary Lineker
Half of Lineker’s six goals came in a 3-0 win against Poland, with his 25-minute hat-trick the second quickest in World Cup history. Two more goals against Paraguay followed in the knockout stages before England were controversially eliminated by Argentina in the quarter-finals, with Lineker on the scoresheet in a 2-1 loss.
1990 Italy – Salvatore Schillaci
A relative unknown before the tournament started, having only started one game for the Azzurri prior to the World Cup. Schillaci was the surprise star as hosts Italy finished third thanks to his six goals.
1994 United States – Oleg Salenko and Hristo Stoichkov
Russia’s Salenko is the only player to win the award playing for a team that went out in the group stages, thanks to five goals in a 6-1 win over Cameroon. He shared the award with Stoichkov, who also scored six times to help Bulgaria finish fourth. Both players were making their debuts in the World Cup.
1998 France – Davor Suker
Six was the magic number for the sixth tournament in a row as Suker’s goals helped Croatia finish third in their first ever World Cup.
2002 South Korea/Japan – Ronaldo
One of the competition’s most consistent performers, the Brazilian’s eight goals in 2002 are sandwiched by four in 1998 and three in 2006 to make him the second highest scorer in World Cup history.
2006 Germany – Miroslav Klose
The man who eclipses Ronaldo is Germany’s Klose, who across four tournaments between 2002 and 2014 scored 16 goals, including his Golden Boot success with just five when his country were hosts.
2010 South Africa – Thomas Muller
Five was enough again four years later when fellow German Muller collected the accolade on his tournament bow. Muller, David Villa, Wesley Sneijder and Diego Forlan actually all tied on five goals but Muller won by virtue of having more assists.
2014 Brazil – James Rodriguez
The Colombian scored six times on his World Cup debut before his streak was ended by hosts Brazil in the quarter-finals. It was the first time since 1994 that the Golden Boot winner had not gone beyond the last-eight stage of the competition.
2018 Russia – Harry Kane
England’s Kane got off to a flying start when he scored both goals in a 2-1 win over Tunisia in the first group game and added a hat-trick, two of them from the spot, in a 6-1 rout of Panama. His sixth and final strike came from 12 yards in a last-16 victory against Colombia which was secured in a shoot-out on the way to the last four.