Top Scorer Candidates For The 2014 World Cup
The World Cup is the most prestigious of all footballing events that can propel great players into legendary figures. Brazilian Ronaldo’s 15 goals made him the king of goalscorers for World Cups. Will Germany’s Miroslav Klose, with 14 goals to his name, be able to overtake him and ascend the throne during this 2014 World Cup? Let’s take a look at the list of potential top scorers below.
Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo
The way Ronaldo scored four goals to make Portugal qualify for the 2014 World Cup is a sight to behold. He and Lionel Messi changed how goal-scorers’ statistic should be benchmark. Top scorer at Real Madrid and the Spanish La Liga, Ronaldo loves to bamboozled opposite defence with his fast and mazy run from the wings before cutting in to score. He isn’t afraid to take shots as well, as his number of shots taken this season is more than the top three attackers at Real Madrid combined. At the very peak of his prowess, Ronaldo is determined to be a one man army to lead Portugal to glory.
Argentina – Lionel Messi
It’s time for Lionel Messi to shed off his “Diego Maradona Heir” status at the international stage to become the one and only “Lionel Messi” in Argentina folklore. King of dribbles and four times record FIFA Ballon d’Or Holder. Despite Messi’s incredible performances at club level, he hasn’t been able to quite make it on the international stage. Last World Cup saw Argentina started off on a bright note before being vanquished at the hands of the ultra-efficient Germany team during the Quarter-finals stage. Messi knows he needs to lift himself to another level before he can truly be mention on the same level as Maradona on the international stage and he is not going to waste this World Cup to do just that.
Holland – Robin Van Persie
All along his career, Robin Van Persie (RvP) has been the focal point of goals for both club and country. Top scorer in the English Premier League for the past two seasons, only injury has stalled his goals registration this season. Van Persie has contributed greatly by chipping in 11 goals during the Netherlands’ qualifying rounds for 2014 World Cup. Technically gifted with a magical left foot, Holland will need RvP at his best after they so narrowly lost to Spain for a runners-up position during the last World Cup.
Brazil – Neymar
Already hail as the next generation of superstars and heir to the famous Pele at a tender age of 18, Neymar’s dazzling display at international and club level prompted Barcelona to nip him for 57 million Euros. Joint top assist in the Spanish La Liga during his first season with Barcelona speaks volume of his adaptability despite his usual role of being a forward during his time with Santos and the national team. Becoming top scorer and leading his country Brazil to another prestigious World Cup trophy will surely propel him from boy wonder to a true blue superstar status.
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Italy – Mario Balotelli
“Super Mario” Balotelli is a player who greatly divides opinions, but make no mistake, when he is on form, he is practically unstoppable. Just ask Germany, who was at the receiving end during the semi-finals of Euro 2012. When he is not doing any “crazy” stuff, his football is a joy to watch. Strong in the air and hard to brush off the ball, Balotelli has the ability to score goals galore when he is fully focus.
Colombia – Radamel Falcao
Goal scoring monster who further cemented his goalscoring status after destroying Chelsea 4-1 in the 2012 UEFA Super Cup with his hat trick during his time with Atletico Madrid. Moved to Monaco last summer and is currently just behind Ibrahimovic and Cavani in French Ligue’s top goal scorers list. Acrobatic shots, lobbing balls and net-ripping cannonballs, Falcao stands second in Colombia’s highest goal scorer list and he might just become the number one after this 2014 World Cup tournament.
England – Wayne Rooney
The one true blue world-class player in England’s fold who is at the prime of his career. Rooney practically drags his club Manchester United out of trouble many times this season after strike partner Robin Van Persie is out with injury. Wayne Rooney’ game is not only about scoring, he brings players into the game with his assists and his willingness to chase back the ball. He does tend to fade during the major tournaments. Let’s hope that during this 2014 World Cup, due to his status as one of the most senior players in the England team, he will take the lead to showcase his big stage aptitude.
Spain – David Villa
Although Spain is the only country that can play a 4-2-4 formation without a recognized striker (just look at their incredible list of attacking players), I would say David Villa is a good bet (he is still Spain’s all-time goalscorer for a reason). Hey, Diego Forlan of Uruguay was also joint top-scorer during the last world cup at an age of 32, so why not Villa? His teammate Diego Costa might proved another popular choice given that Costa now heads the club’s goal scoring list and he is eligible for Spain after making the switch from Brazil, but you just need to look at Villa’s goals with Atlético Madrid and you know that he still has it in him. Defenders beware.
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Germany – Mario Gomez
It’s a fight between Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez and Andre Schurrle to lead the line for Germany. All are, however, not performing ideally at their respective clubs. With German coach Joachim Low most probably going for a mixture of experience and the physical condition to be able to play through matches that will come in thick and fast, my guess is that Gomez might just get the nudge. Of course, he is not a poor finisher by any standard. Together with German teammates such as Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller playing the through balls to him, there is every chance he can get the converted top scorer award.
Uruguay – Luis Suárez
With his first goal against Norwich City (he scored four in that match) where he almost burst the net from a dipping shot outside the penalty box, shows a striker bursting with confidence at the moment. A pacy striker who can cut through defence at will, dark horse Uruguay’s Suárez is also an expert in free kicks as well the ability to finish with either feet. Courted heavily by Real Madrid during the summer, Suárez’s goal scoring exploit will be enhanced during the world cup.
Mexico – Javier Hernández
With a goal-to-game ratio of more than 0.5, you know that “Chicharito” is going to score if given just half a chance. At a tender age of 25, he is already third in Mexico’s goalscorer list, and he is not stopping any time soon. Instinctive, intelligent and clinical, although not given much playing opportunity at Manchester United, scoring goals is what Hernández is born to do.
France – Karim Benzema
An ability to play off the wings or lead the line, Benzema is a huge talent who boost a tremendous shot and silky skills. Already with 8 league goals to his name, Benzema is second only to Ronaldo in Real Madrid’s list of goalscorer this season. He will be eager to show that he deserves to be the heir of France’s all-time top scorer Thierry Henry.
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Belgium – Romelu Lukaku
One of the best young stars to look out for during this coming 2014 World Cup. Assist will not be a problem in this new Golden Generation of Belgium team with attacking players such as Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne providing the bullets. All Lukaku needs to do is to finish them off, something he has shown he is extremely capable of despite his young age. The only question will be whether Belgium is able to perform on the biggest footballing event and advance further into the knockout stage as past records has shown that topscorers usually came from these teams.