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FIFA World Cup: 5 Greatest Golden Boot Winners of All Time

Rohith Nair
Top 5 / Top 10
6.01K   //    22 May 2018, 21:06 IST

World Cup Golden Boot
The FIFA World Cup Golden Boot

All eyes will be on Russia in June and July as the world's most popular sport celebrates the coming together of 32 nations to win the quadrennial event that is the FIFA World Cup. The 2018 edition promises to entertain with no clear favourites for the top prize.

Even the winner of the Golden Boot is not easy to predict. 2014 saw an unlikely contender in Colombia's James Rodriguez walk away with the prize. Who will it be this time?

We look back at the top five players who won the World Cup Golden Boot.

#5 Ronaldo (Brazil): 8 goals in 2002

Soccer - FIFA World Cup 2002 - Final - Germany v Brazil
Ronaldo leaves a distraught Oliver Kahn in his wake in the 2002 World Cup final

In 1998, fingers were pointed at him when Brazil failed to defend their World Cup title in France. His fitness (or the lack of it) saw him struggle in the final as Les Bleus romped to a 3-0 win in Paris.

O Fenomeno had a point to prove in 2002 where the Selecao were once again favourites and he kicked things off with four goals in the first three group stage games.

But for a player such as Ronaldo, the group stage was just a warm-up for things to come. Teams such as Costa Rica and China were child's play for him before the heavyweights confronted him.

The Round of 16 saw him score yet again against Belgium before his scoring streak was finally halted by England in the quarter-final (Rivaldo and Ronaldinho saw to their progress though, remember 'Dinho lobbing Seaman?).

The semi-final was where Ronaldo was needed the most. With no way through for much of the game, one solitary moment of magic saw him receive the ball near the final third on the left, keep the ball away from four defenders before striking it past the goalkeeper to lead Brazil to a 1-0 win.

Ronaldo 2002 golden boot
Ronaldo won the Golden Boot in 2002 while compatriot Rivaldo won the Silver Boot

If the '98 final was about how Ronaldo failed to turn up, the final in 2002 was the ultimate Ronaldo final. He created the first goal by brushing Dietmar Hamann off the ball to allow Rivaldo to get a shot off.

Oliver Kahn spilled the ball, allowing Ronaldo - who had made the run forward - to mop up. The second goal saw Rivaldo return the favour by playing a dummy so Ronaldo could receive Kleberson's pass from the wing at the edge of the box before he fired it past Kahn yet again for the second time in 12 minutes.

Ronaldo finished the tournament with 8 goals in all to pick up the Golden Boot.

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