Dubai: In the second of six-part countdown to the 2018 World Cup, which kicks-off in Russia five months from today on June 14, we take a look at the players who lit up each tournament with their impressive goal tallies and focus on five stars you thought would have featured but don’t. Interestingly only four tournament top scorers actually went on to lift the title at the same event proving that football is more about teams than individuals after all.
■ Five stars you thought would have featured but don’t
Golden Boot: Guillermo Stabile (Argentina) 8, lost final
The Huracan striker scored a hat-trick on his debut against Mexico after stepping in for first choice striker Roberto Cherro, who had a panic attack. He then scored two against Chile in the group and a further two in the semi against the USA, before a single effort in the final, which Argentina lost 4-2 to hosts Uruguay.
Golden Boot: Oldrich Nejedly (Czechoslovakia) 5, lost final
Goals in the first round against Romania and the quarter-final against Switzerland were followed up with a hat-trick in the semi over Germany, but the Sparta Prague forward couldn’t keep it up in their 2-1 extra-time final defeat to hosts Italy. A broken leg at the next World Cup saw him retire from international football.
Golden Boot: Leonidas (Brazil) 7, finished third
A hat-trick in the first round against Poland was followed up by goals in both games against Czechoslovakia in the replayed quarter and two in the third-place play-off against Sweden, after he was rested for the semis defeat to Italy. The Flamengo forward famously invented and deployed the bicycle kick in France winning the Golden Ball too.
Golden Boot: Ademir (Brazil) 8, finished second
Scored two against Mexico and one against Yugoslavia in the opening group stage, then backed it up with four against Sweden and one against Spain in the final round robin. The Vasco da Gama striker’s efforts were overshadowed though after Uruguay topped the group and won the title with a shock 2-1 win over hosts and favourites Brazil.
Winners: West Germany
Golden Boot: Sandor Kocsis (Hungary) 11, lost final
Started with a hat-trick against South Korea and four against West Germany in the group, then got two in the quarters against Brazil and two in the semis against Uruguay. However the Honved striker’s goals dried up in the final, which they lost 2-1 to West Germany, despite having already thrashed the hosts 8-3 earlier in the competition.
Golden Boot: Just Fontaine (France) 13, finished third
In a tally that remains the record, the Moroccan-born Reims striker scored a hat-trick against Paraguay, two against Yugoslavia and one against Scotland in the group. He also scored two against Northern Ireland in the quarters and one in the semis defeat to Brazil, before adding four in the third-place play-off win over West Germany.
Golden Boot: Garrincha (Brazil) 4, won
Shared the most goals tally with five others, but two braces in the quarters win over England and semis victory over hosts Chile were pivotal in carrying Brazil through to their second successive title. The Botafogo winger was the first top scorer to actually lift the World Cup as well, he also picked up the Golden Ball for player of the tournament.
Golden Boot: Eusebio (Portugal) 9, finished third
Geoff Hurst and hosts England stole the show, but it was this Mozambique-born Benfica striker of debutants Portugal who took the boot. One goal against Bulgaria and two against Brazil in the group were followed up by four in the quarters against North Korea, one in the semis defeat to England and one in the third-place play-off win over the Soviet Union.
Golden Boot: Gerd Muller (West Germany) 10, finished third
Scored one against Morocco, three against Bulgaria and three against Peru in the group, an extra-time winner over England in the quarters and two in the semis defeat to Italy. The Bayern Munich striker added another four in 1974 including the winner in the final over Holland and held the record for most all-time World Cup goals (14) for 32 years until overtaken by Brazil’s Ronaldo.
Winners: West Germany
Hosts: West Germany
Golden Boot: Grzegorz Lato (Poland) 7, finished third
Two against Argentina and two against Haiti in the first group stage were followed up by one against Sweden and another against Yugoslavia in the second phase, before another single in the win over Brazil in the third-place play-off. It was the furthest Poland had ever been before replicating it in 1982 also with the Stal Mielec winger onboard.
Golden Boot: Mario Kempes (Argentina) 6, won
The Valencia striker got two against both Poland and Peru in the second group phase and another brace in the extra-time final win over Holland. That famous image of him recoiling from goal amidst raining ticker tape became a lasting memory of the tournament. It also buried critics of coach Cesar Luis Menotti who didn’t call-up 17-year-old Diego Maradona.
Golden Boot: Paolo Rossi (Italy) 6, won
Scored a hat-trick over Brazil in the group phase plus two in the semi against Poland and the opener in the final win over West Germany in Spain. The Juventus striker is the last of only three players who have won the World Cup, Golden Boot and Golden Ball all in the same tournament, after Garrincha in 1962 and Kempes in 1978.
Golden Boot: Gary Lineker (England) 6, reached quarters
Undoubtedly Diego Maradona’s World Cup, but it was this Everton striker who took the Golden Boot. A hat-trick over Poland in the group stage, two against Paraguay in the Last 16, and the opener in the infamous quarter defeat to Argentina gave Lineker and England something to take away from Diego after having been robbed.
Winners: West Germany
Golden Boot: Salvatore Schillaci (Italy) 6, finished third
Italy needed a hero for their home World Cup and found one in this Juventus striker, who scored singles against both Austria and Czechoslovakia in the group, one against Uruguay in the Last 16, and another against Argentina in the semis defeat before notching the winner against England in the third-place play-off.
Golden Boot: Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria) 6, finished fourth
A vintage year for Bulgaria saw them reach the semis and finish fourth in their best ever appearance. The Barcelona forward was pivotal, getting two against Greece and one against Argentina in the group, one against Mexico in the Last 16, another against Germany in the quarters and then one against Italy in the semis defeat.
Golden Boot: Davor Suker (Croatia) 6, finished third
The Real Madrid striker scored one against both Jamaica and Japan in the group, one against Romania in the Last 16, and one against both Germany in the quarter, and hosts and eventual champions France in the semi. Thanks to Suker, Croatia finished third in their first ever World Cup appearance since forming from the break-up of Yugoslavia, which remains their best ever result.
Hosts: Japan and South Korea
Golden Boot: Ronaldo (Brazil) 8, won
Four goals in 1998 added to eight in 2002 and three in 2006 saw Ronaldo overtake Gerd Muller’s all-time most World Cup goals tally. The bulk of the Inter Milan striker’s work was done in 2002 scoring one against both Turkey, China and two against Costa Rica in the group, one against Belgium in the Last 16, one against Turkey in the semi and two against Germany in the final.
Golden Boot: Miroslav Klose (Germany) 5, finished third
Scored two against Costa Rica and two against Ecuador in the group before one in the quarter against Argentina for a modest total of five, but added to five scored in 2002, four in 2010 and two in 2014, the Werder Bremen striker was able to overtake Ronaldo in the all-time most World Cup goals tally with 16, which remains the record.
Hosts: South Africa
Golden Boot: Thomas Muller (Germany) 5, finished third
Finished level on five goals with three others; Uruguay’s Diego Forlan, Spain’s David Villa and Holland’s Wesley Sneijder, but the Bayern Munich forward takes the boot on account of having played less games. One goal came against Australia in the group, two over England in the Last 16, and one against both Argentina in quarter and Uruguay in the third place play-off.
Golden Boot: James Rodriguez (Colombia) 6, reached quarters
Scored one each against Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan in the group stage then got two against Uruguay in the Last 16 and one in the quarter defeat to hosts Brazil. His opening chest turn and volleyed goal off the underside of the crossbar against Uruguay was one of the goals of the tournament. His performance earned him a £63 million move from Monaco to Real Madrid.