With just over four months to go until this year’s tournament in Qatar, we’re assessing the chances of some of the strongest forwards in international competition. In FIFA Predictions Part 2, the analysis continues on players 6 to 10 who will hit the net multiple times this winter. Read on Nexbetsports for more FIFA predictions.
FIFA PREDICTIONS- likely World Cup top scorers #6: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
We don’t make the boldest FIFA predictions by touting the Portuguese legend as a likely Golden Boot winner. After all, Cristiano Ronaldo is the all-time leading scorer in international soccer with 117 goals in 189 appearances (correct as of July 15, 2022). To put that in context, he has scored 31 more goals than Lionel Messi, after playing 27 more games. .
In addition, in his last major tournament, CR7 led the scoring charts with 5 goals, setting several new milestones.
When he scored a penalty in a group match against Hungary, he broke French icon Michel Platini’s previous record of 9 goals scored at the European Championships (Cristiano Ronaldo then scored his 11th in stoppage time). He also became the oldest player to score for Portugal at a major tournament, at 36 years and 130 days. And he surpassed Andriy Shevchenko as the oldest player to score at least two goals in a European championship game.
In short, this guy is constantly raising the bar. Given that Cristiano Ronaldo has scored at every World Cup he’s played in, expect more records to be broken in Qatar.
FIFA PREDICTIONS- likely World Cup top scorers #7: Darwin Nunez (Uruguay)
From a World Cup veteran to a debutant. There should be plenty of excitement surrounding Liverpool’s £85m man when he arrives at his first final in November. Darwin Nunez’s appearances for Uruguay have so far been limited – he is only 23 and an injury ruled him out of last year’s Copa America. But there’s no denying his potential to become a star for his country, succeeding aging stars Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani. Both are 35 years old, so this will probably be their last World Cup.
Last season for Benfica, Darwin Nunez scored 34 goals in 41 appearances and caused havoc for opposing defenders with his speed and power. He and his Uruguayan teammates have been handed a potentially tricky group in Qatar – they will face South Korea, Portugal and Ghana. But if Darwin Nunez gets off to a flying start, qualification should be a formality.
FIFA PREDICTIONS- likely World Cup top scorers #8: Neymar (Brazil)
Finalists of the Copa America last year, Brazil will be – as always – among the favorites to lift the World Cup trophy in December. And the poster child for their campaign will undoubtedly be Neymar.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker certainly has his detractors; let’s face it, he’s not exactly the first name that comes to mind when you think of a “team player.” And then there’s the diving, histrionic, and general attempts to rip off match officials, which aren’t to everyone’s liking. But in terms of talent – and goal statistics – he is, without a doubt, the Selecao’s beacon.
Neymar has scored 74 goals in 119 international matches – he’s only three behind Pele on the all-time list (though his goals-per-game ratio isn’t as impressive as the legend’s 0.84). And he has plenty of World Cup experience; in 2014 he finished third in scoring with 4 goals, 4 years later he added 2 more goals to his tournament tally.
Obviously, to win the Golden Boot in 2022, he will need to increase his scoring rate. But it’s possible if you consider his supporting cast – Vinicius Junior, Raphinha and Richarlison are among the creative sparks likely to play around Neymar, making Brazil’s forward line a handful for any opponent.
FIFA PREDICTIONS- likely World Cup top scorers #9: Kylian Mbappe (France)
The best forward line of any team at the FIFA World Cup? There’s a strong case to be made for the titular France. Let’s start with Kylian Mbappé.
Still only 23 years old, his record of club goals is phenomenal. The Paris Saint-Germain forward has finished as the top scorer in Ligue 1 for the past 4 consecutive seasons. He has scored 119 times in 142 high-profile games since signing from Monaco in 2017 and has been named the division’s player of the year three times.
And based on his first World Cup experience, we can expect big things in Qatar.
In Russia 2018, Kylian Mbappé became only the second teenager (after Pele) to score at the international tournament and finished second on the goal tally with 4 – 2 of which came in a knockout match against Argentina and 1 in the final against Croatia. . So he can certainly produce the goods on a big occasion.
Given the quality of the Blues in their squad, Kylian Mbappe won’t have to do everything himself. But he has every chance to do so.
FIFA PREDICTIONS- likely World Cup top scorers #10: Karim Benzema (France)
Karim Benzema had the best season of his career in 2021/22 – without a doubt.
The Real Madrid sharpshooter scored 44 goals in all competitions, eclipsing his previous record for a single campaign. He also finished as the top scorer in La Liga (27) and the Champions League (15), helping the Spanish team win both trophies. His performances in the Round of 16 of Europe’s elite competition were legendary – particularly his 17-minute hat-trick to cap a remarkable comeback against Paris Saint-Germain in the Round of 16.
It seems that at 34, Karim Benzema is getting better with age. And given that he was excluded from the French team at the previous two major tournaments after being arrested in a blackmail scandal, he will be eager to make up for lost time in Qatar.
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