Soccer giants fight for Golden Boot

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Durban - When you have all of the world's top footballers in one tournament, the quest for the Golden Boot award in the 2010 FIFA World Cup can become a ferocious fight.

The golden boot award goes to the top scorer of the tournament and was first handed out in the 1930 World Cup.

The likely candidates for the prestigious award include Argentine's Lionel Messi who is hailed by most respected football scribes as the best player in the world at the moment.

Messi's team-mate, Diego Milito, also exudes potential after his brilliant show for Inter Milan especially in the Champions League, when he scored twice in the final against Bayern Munich.

Manchester United's top striker Wayne Rooney is also on the favourite list for the award with his impressive goal tally for the English Premier League giants in the last season.

Portugal will look to Cristiano Ronaldo to ensure their campaign at the World Cup is on track.

Renowned for his 42 goals in one season for Manchester United before moving to Real Madrid, the star is expected to exploit the defence of Group H candidates - Brazil, Ivory Coast and Korea DPR.

Didier Drogba, if passed fit, was the highest goal scorer in the English Premier League last season and no doubt played a vital role in Chelsea lifting the trophy.

Miroslav Klose bagged the award in 2006 and will seek to improve his recent form and help Germany reach the critical stages for the tournament.

Xavi's contribution in helping Barcelona defend their La Liga title in the last season was vital to say the least.

The Spanish play maker though will face competition from team-mate David Villa who has set his sights on the Golden Boot.

The competition between the pair will translate into great news for Spain who are favourites to win the World Cup.

Cameroon's Samuel Eto'o, one the most lethal strikers in the world, will carry the hopes of the formidable African nation.

With outstanding performances in the 2006 and 2008 African Cup of Nations and excellent record at Barcelona (108 goals in 145 appearances) before moving to Serie A club, Inter Milan, Eto'o will be expected to deliver some world class goals.

Katlego Mphela, the leading goal scorer in the Absa Premier Soccer League this season, has boldly asked the Bafana Bafana midfielders to provide him with the ball to ensure the hosts silence their critics, who often slam the squad's failure to finish.

Brazil striker Luis Fabiano, who scored the most goals in the Confederations Cup last year for his country, may have been experiencing a goal drought, but the player, hungry for goals, is tipped to get back into the swing of things in this tournament.