The World Cup 2010 finals in South Africa will absolutely have many firsts in football – such as the first finals to be staged on the African continent, or the first World Cup to be held in South Africa. What could also happen is for a striker amongst the assorted countries involved to have his first top scorer award in the competition which the Golden Boot often refers to. However, who would have the quality to deserve such a prize?
There will be many lists drawn up by fans and experts alike that are marking down Cristiano Ronaldo as the most likely player to return home to Portugal with the Golden Boot. The striker first came to the fore on the world stage with Manchester United and scored over 40 goals in one startling season during his time at Old Trafford. Ronaldo has consistently notched duplicate figures in goals in the past three seasons at club level and is well on his way to other with Real Madrid. While his description with Portugal has not been as notable, he is a player for the big occasion. With the world watching, do not allowance Ronaldo from lifting his game and grabbing a opening to cement his status as the best player in the world.
Spain’s Fernando Torres has endured a torrid season with Liverpool and injuries but he is due for a huge tournament. The former Atletico Madrid striker has nothing to prove at club level and despite playing only 22 games in the English Premier League this season, Torres still managed to score 18 goals – sometimes taking to the pitch only half-fit. He has averaged only a goal in less than every three games for Spain but Torres might be packing a greater punch as he waits to vent after a year of discontentment and unfulfilled potential.
Coincidentally, Torres could be vying for the Golden Boot with international attack partner David Villa. The Valencia hit man topped the charts two years ago in Euro 2008 and is a player that will set the transfer market alight this summer when his club ultimately allows him to leave. Villa has scored more than 20 goals a season at club level in each of the past five seasons and apart from having the distraction of a inherent transfer affecting his concentration, he is all set to show the world again his limitless quality in front of goal.
A consulation on a World Cup top goalscorer will not be perfect without any reference to an England striker. There is no mistaking who will lead the line for the Three Lions in South Africa. Wayne Rooney has already been hailed as the player who can win the tournament for his country all on his own and it is absolutely a heavy burden to shoulder. But the Manchester United striker is as fearless as the kings of the jungle that are imprinted on his national team jersey. His description goalscoring season with the Red Devils also signals a player that is hitting form at the right time. At only 24, Rooney is not even approaching an age that is often regarded as an median player’s peak. One can only wonder how much more he will perform in the years to come.
There are many more players who have the quality to score enough goals to not only claim the Golden Boot as an private accolade but also to help their national team to football glory. Established players like the above-named are all proven at both club and international level but who is to say that there would not be an unknown who will rise to prominence when everyone least expects it? Names like Toto Schillaci and Roger Milla were hardly household names before they stirred the imaginations of fans worldwide with their goalscoring exploits in past World Cups. The tournament will not be any lesser if other fairy tale story could be attached to the Golden Boot in the South African World Cup 2010 finals.