World Cup: Mbappé, Messi, Neymar, Lewandowski… the race for the title of top scorer promises to be crazy

Who will succeed Harry Kane, top scorer at the last World Cup in 2018? Four and a half years after the coronation of the English striker (6 achievements), the fight promises to be fierce in view of the stars present in Qatar and especially their state of form.

The various contenders arrive, for the most part, on the strength of their start to the club season and will want to mark the history of this World Cup in the hope of winning the title of top scorer. Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Neymar, Karim Benzema… While the applicants are numerous, here is a small inventory before their debut.

Harry Kane, defending champion

Icon Sport/Mark Pain

Honor to the title holder! The England captain is bound to be one of the favorites for his own succession. He is even the number 1 bookmakers who put him in the lead before the start of the World Cup on Sunday. Harry Kane confirmed that he was a man of major competitions by finishing second top scorer in the last Euro (4 goals) and scoring in the 8th, quarter and semi-finals. He has already found the net 13 times this season with Tottenham, a sign of his good form. Last element in his favor: the overall level of the group of the Three Lions, opposed to Iran, the United States and Wales. Penalty taker, Kane is well equipped to defend his title, even if the English do not go very far in the competition.

Kylian Mbappé, the form of the moment

LP / Arnaud Journois

There is no doubt that in a corner of his head, the Blues striker dreams of finishing as the competition’s top scorer. Author of 4 goals at the 2018 World Cup, he will necessarily want to do better and feed his perpetual hunger for records. His form at the start of the season is a major asset: 19 goals scored in 20 games played with PSG. In Blues, it’s all good too with 11 goals in his last 10 selections. Mbappé will share attacking duties alongside Benzema, which could potentially impact his figures. Silent during the last Euro, the French international knows he is expected.

Karim Benzema, the aura of the Ballon d’Or

Icon Sport/Philippe Lecoeur

Eight years after his first and only World Cup (3 goals), Karim Benzema will want to show that he is worthy of the Golden Ball he won on October 17. At 35, the state of form of the Real Madrid striker is questioning and his performances at the start of the season (6 goals in 12 games) also feed some fears. Fortunately, his record with the Blues since his return in June 2021 remains satisfactory with 6 goals in his last 10 selections and 4 registered for the Euro.

Neymar, never so strong

Icon Sport/Tnani Badreddine/DeFodi Images

The Brazilian is on a mission during this World Cup, perhaps the last of his career as he has often implied. So if he dreams of bringing a sixth star to the Seleção jersey, he will have to put in high-level performances, like those at the start of the season in Paris (15 goals, 12 assists). Neymar has perhaps never been so strong when approaching a World Cup (4 goals in 2014, 2 goals in 2018) with Brazil where he is the leader of the attack (75 goals in 121 selections). The group seems within reach of the Brazilians with matches against Switzerland, Serbia and Cameroon. The number 10 will also take penalties, one more advantage in this race for the title of top scorer.

Lionel Messi, finally shine at the World Cup


Like his Brazilian teammate at PSG, the seven-time Ballon d’Or is carried by an absolute self-confidence which allows him to believe in a world title. With 12 goals and 14 assists since the start of the season, Messi arrives in Qatar with the certainties and qualities that can take Argentina very far. Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland will be on the Albiceleste program in the first round. What to see coming. The doubts lie in Messi’s ability to perform in this competition. He only scored 6 goals in 4 World Cups and, above all, none in the knockout stages…

Robert Lewandowski, the Grosse Cote

SUSA / Icon Sport

This is the big rating! The Polish striker is not favored by the bookmakers despite his status as the third top scorer of the season (18 goals in 19 games). The FC Barcelona player pays for the lack of references of his selection at the high level and many do not imagine him having a great career. Which reduces Lewandowski’s chances of finishing with the title of top scorer. Mute in 2018, author of three goals during the last Euro, the center-forward will have to be a full card during the first round to compete with his direct rivals.

And also…

Cristiano Ronaldo will be keen to show up with Portugal after a failed start to the season at Manchester United. Top scorer of the last Euro, he will necessarily be in the race. Vinicius Junior (Brazil), Leroy Sané (Germany), Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) or Memphis Depay (Netherlands) also have arguments to make.



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