Amelia Acosta

2022 World Cup top goalscorers: Updated leaders for the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup features 32 nations competing in soccer’s biggest event in Qatar, the first World Cup ever held in the Middle East. This year marks the final edition of the tournament with a 32-nation field – that number is set to increase to 48 for the 2026 World Cup, which will have venues across the United States, Mexico and Canada.

This year’s Copa Mundial looks different for several reasons, including the dates (due to Qatar’s intense summer heat, the schedule was shifted to November-December instead of its traditional summer timing). But as always, the event features the world’s top fútbol nations vying for global glory as well as individual awards for top performers, including the coveted prize for attacking players: the Golden Boot.

At the last iteration of the World Cup, England’s Harry Kane, also a star for Premier League side Tottenham, took home the award thanks to his six goals, which likely helped soften the blow of the Three Lions falling 2-0 to Belgium in the third-place match.

One of the top storylines to watch at this year’s World Cup is the swan song for two of the game’s biggest stars: Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Christiano Ronaldo. 

Neither player has ever won the Golden Boot, while Messi won the World Cup to complete his legacy. France, who won the World Cup in 2018, were runners up to Argentina after losing on penalty kicks. France’s Kylian Mbappe scored a hat trick in the final and won the Golden Boot as he scored eight goals, pipping Messi to the award.

For more on the latest Golden Boot standings, odds and predictions throughout the tournament, follow along with ProSoccerTalk and NBC Sports Edge.

RELATED: World Cup 2022 schedule – groups, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates


What is the Golden Boot?

The Golden Boot is the award given to the top goal-scorer at each edition of the World Cup. If at the conclusion of the tournament two or more players are tied at the top of the list with the same number of goals, the award will go to the player with the most non-penalty goals, and if they are still tied, it will go to the player with the most assists. While there has always been a top goal-scorer at the tournament, the specific award has been given since 1982. It was known as “The Golden Shoe” until its re-christening in 2010.

RELATED: World Cup 2022 rankings: Who are the favorites?

Who are the top scorers at 2022 World Cup?

1. Kylian Mbappe (France) – 8
2. Lionel Messi (Argentina) – 7
3. Olivier Giroud (France) – 4
4. Julian Alvarez (Argentina) – 4
5. Marcus Rashford (England) – 3
6. Alvaro Morata (Spain) – 3
7. Enner Valencia (Ecuador) – 3
8. Bukayo Saka (England) – 3
9. Richarlison (Brazil) – 3
10. Goncalo Ramos (Portugal) – 3
11. Cody Gakpo (Netherlands) – 3
12. Mehdi Taremi (Iran) – 2
13. Bruno Fernandes (Portugal) – 2
14. Mohammed Kudus (Ghana) – 2
15. Cho Gue-Sung (South Korea) – 2
16. Breel Embolo (Switzerland) – 2
17. Salem Al Dawsari (Saudi Arabia) – 2
18. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Serbia) – 2
19. Kai Havertz (Germany) – 2
20. Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon) – 2
21. Niclas Fullkrug (Germany) – 2
22. Ritsu Doan (Japan) – 2
23. Giorgian de Arrascaeta (Uruguay) – 2
24. Andrej Kramaric (Croatia) – 2
25. Robert Lewandowski (Poland) – 2
26. Ferran Torres (Spain) – 2
27. Wout Weghorst (Netherlands) – 2
28. Rafael Leao (Portugal) – 2

World Cup top scorers
Getty Images

All past Golden Boot winners (1982-2018)

1982: Paolo Rossi (ITA) – 6

1986: Gary Lineker (ENG) – 6

1990: Salvatore Schillaci – 6

1994: Oleg Salenko (RUS) / Hristo Stoichkov (BUL) – 6

1998: Davor Suker (CRO) – 6

2002: Ronaldo (BRA) – 8

2006 – Miroslav Klose (GER) – 5

2010 – Thomas Muller (GER) – 5

2014 – James Rodriguez (COL) – 6

2018 – Harry Kane (ENG) – 6

2022 – Kylian Mbappe (FRA) – 8


When is the 2022 World Cup?

The World Cup begins Sunday, November 20th with host nation Qatar taking on Ecuador in the opener. The group stage runs through December 3rd before the knockout rounds begin. The final is set to take place on Sunday, December 18th.

RELATED: USMNT squad confirmed for 2022 World Cup

World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!

How many times has Argentina won the World Cup? Past history and appearances for Lionel Messi, Argentina

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Argentina won the 2022 World Cup, beating France 4-2 on penalty kicks after a 3-3 draw in what’s being called the greatest World Cup final of all time,

That means the Albiceleste gets to add another star above their badge.

This World Cup was all about one last shot for the legend Lionel Messi to win his first World Cup, one of the only things he has yet to accomplish in a historic soccer career. He delivered two goals in the final win and had an epic World Cup, and below for a look at Argentina’s past performance at the men’s World Cup, including their wins and results year-by-year.

RELATED: Messi leads rout of Croatia as Argentina reach World Cup final

How many times has Argentina won the World Cup?

After winning in Qatar in 2022, Argentina has won the World Cup three times and they had to wait nearly forty years since their last title in 1986. Argentina won the 1978 edition on home soil, defeating Netherlands 3-1 in the final thanks in part extra time goals from Mario Kempes and Daniel Bertoni. Argentina last won the tournament in 1986, led by Diego Maradona, culminating in a 3-2 win over West Germany in the final at Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca.

RELATED: 2022 World Cup top goalscorers: Updated leaders for the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot

How many times has Argentina played in the World Cup?

Argentina has competed in 18 World Cups, including the 2022 edition in Qatar. The last time the team failed to qualify for a World Cup was in 1970, and the last time the Argentinians failed to advance from the group stage was in 2002. Argentina is a three-time World Cup runner-up (1930, 1990, 2014).

RELATED: France vs Morocco: How to watch live, stream link, team news

Has Lionel Messi ever won a World Cup?

Now he has. Widely considered as one of the greatest players in the history of the game, Lionel Messi has now won a World Cup title. He is a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, a ten-time La Liga champion and a four-time UEFA Champions League winner. He won his first major international title with Argentina’s victory in the 2021 Copa America and before the 2022 World Cup the closest he has come to a World Cup title is Argentina’s 2014 runner-up finish to Germany. Now, he has joined the legendary Diego Maradona and Pele in leading their nations to a World Cup. The GOAT debate is over. Messi has won the World Cup he was missing.

RELATED: When and where is the 2026 World Cup?

Argentina World Cup finishes by year

1930 – Runners up

1934 – Eliminated in first round

1938 – 1954: Did not compete

1958: Eliminated in group stage

1962: Eliminated in group stage

1966: Eliminated in quarterfinals

1970: Did not qualify

1974: Eliminated in second group stage

1978: Tournament champions

1982: Eliminated in second group stage

1986: Tournament champions

1990: Runners up

1994: Eliminated in round of 16

1998: Eliminated in quarterfinals

2002: Eliminated in group stage

2006: Eliminated in quarterfinals

2010: Eliminated in quarterfinals

2014: Runners up

2018: Eliminated in round of 16

2022: Winners

How to watch World Cup Final Replay – Argentina 2-2 France (Argentina won 4-2 on penalty kicks)

Kick off: 10am ET – Sunday, December 18
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

How many times has France won the World Cup? Past titles, appearances and results

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The quarterfinal meeting between France and England was one of the mostly highly anticipated of the 2022 World Cup and it absolutely delivered, with Kylian Mbappe and co. taking the 2-1 victory over Harry Kane and the Three Lions and adding another chapter to England’s troubled history with penalty kicks along the way. Then in the semifinals, France took down Morocco, to make it back to the final for the second consecutive tournament. It will be a tough test for the French, who will take on Lionel Messi and Argentina in the hopes of becoming the third nation in history to win consecutive men’s World Cups. Before that thrilling final, see below for a look France’s World Cup history, including their wins and results year-by-year.

RELATED: How many times has Argentina won the World Cup? Past history and appearances for Lionel Messi, Argentina

How many times has France won the World Cup?

France has won the World Cup twice, and is in fact the defending champion after winning the 2018 edition held in Russia, a 4-2 victory over Croatia. France’s first World Cup win came in 1998, when they defeated Brazil 3-0 in the final as the host nation, playing at the Stade de France, just north of Paris. The team has already avoided the curse of the defending champion: before France in 2022, the previous three straight defending champions were eliminated in the group stage of the following World Cup.

RELATED: 2022 World Cup top goalscorers: Updated leaders for the FIFA World Cup Golden Boot

How many times has France played in the World Cup?

The French team has competed in 16 World Cups, including the inaugural edition in 1930 and the 2022 tournament in Qatar. France was the runner-up in 2006 and has finished 3rd twice (1958, 1986). They’ve also hosted the tournament twice (1938, 1998). France last failed to qualify for the World Cup in 1994 – in fact, they did not play in the tournament for 12 years after missing out in both 1990 and 1994, but returned in 1998 to win it all on home soil.

RELATED: When and where is the 2026 World Cup?

What teams have won back-to-back World Cup titles?

If Les Bleus get past Morocco and go on to successfully defend their title from 2018, they’d be just the third country in history to win consecutive men’s World Cups. They’d join Italy (1934, 1938) and Brazil (1958, 1962), meaning they’d be the first side to accomplish the feat in 60 years.

RELATED: World Cup 2022 rankings: Who are the favorites?

France World Cup finishes by year

1930: Eliminated in group stage

1934: Eliminated in round of 16

1938: Eliminated in quarterfinals

1950: Did not compete

1954: Eliminated in group stage

1958: Third place

1962: Did not qualify

1966: Eliminated in group stage

1970 – 1974: Did not qualify

1978: Eliminated in group stage

1982: Fourth place

1986: Third place

1990 – 1994: Did not qualify

1998: Tournament champions

2002: Eliminated in group stage

2006: Runners up

2010: Eliminated in group stage

2014: Eliminated in quarterfinals

2018: Tournament champions

How to watch World Cup final – Argentina vs France

Kick off: 10am ET – Sunday, December 18
Stadium: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail
TV channels en Español: Telemundo
Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Offsides rules at 2022 World Cup: Explaining how VAR technology impacts referee calls

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The 2022 World Cup is underway from the Middle Eastern nation of Qatar and as the group stage continues, we’ve seen unexpected upsets and some new contenders emerge – but there’s still a long way to go until the tournament champions are crowned in late December.

Along the way, spectators have already seen most matches impacted in at least some capacity by VAR technology when it comes to determining penalties, possession and, frequently, offsides decisions. After introducing semi-automated offside technology at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, FIFA announced this summer that the tool would return for this year’s tournament. Read on to learn how offsides works and how VAR technology is utilized to make decisions at the 2022 World Cup.

RELATED: World Cup 2022 schedule – how to watch, groups, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates

What is the offsides rule?

A player is in an offsides position when they are in the opponent’s half of the field and any part of their head, body or feet is “nearer to the opponents’ goal line than both the ball and the second-last opponent.” Simply put, a player needs to be entirely in front of the last defender when their teammate passes them the ball. The offsides rule exists to keep players from lingering near their opponent’s goal to try and scoop up scoring opportunities.

The offsides rule does not apply when the player receives the ball directly from a corner kick, throw in or goal kick.

RELATED: What are the group stage tiebreaker rules at the 2022 World Cup?

What is VAR?

By now a familiar acronym to any fans of year-round leagues like the Premier League, VAR stands for “Video Assistant Referee.” It refers to officials off the pitch who are watching the match with access to multiple cameras, angles and data points, as well as slow-motion replay, who can weigh in on decisions including goals and penalties, with the objective of making officiating more accurate.

RELATED: World Cup 2022 odds: Favorites, underdogs, group stage winners

How does technology impact offsides calls at 2022 World Cup?

In Qatar, FIFA is using multiple forms of VAR technology to support officials in determining offsides. This includes 12 tracking cameras constantly collecting data on the limb position of each player, as well as “connected ball technology,” a sensor within the official match ball sending kick-point detection data to the video operations room. Per FIFA, “by combining the limb- and ball-tracking data and applying artificial intelligence, the new technology provides an automated offside alert to the video match officials inside the video operation room whenever the ball is received by an attacker who was in an offside position at the moment the ball was played by a teammate.”

After the video referee and the officials on the pitch have confirmed a decision, a 3D visualization of the offsides penalty is available to clearly communicate the infraction.

Germany v Japan: Group E - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022

World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!

World Cup yellow card rules 2022: When does the ‘clean slate rule’ kick in?

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At the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, we’ve already seen games majorly impacted by yellow cards and red cards.

RELATED: World Cup 2022 schedule – how to watch, groups, calendar, match schedule, brackets, dates

While yellow cards are a omnipresent part of soccer, players run the risk of acquiring two cautions and being unavailable when their team needs them most. Here’s the breakdown on how yellow cards turn into player suspensions and what happens to cards in between rounds of the tournament.

How many yellow cards equal a player suspension?

If players receive two yellow cards at the 2022 World Cup, it will result in a one-game suspension. If the player receives both cautions in the same game, they will be sent off and serve the suspension in the subsequent match. But players can also receive a suspension after accumulating two yellow cards across separate matches. So once a player has a yellow card to their name, they’ll likely be thinking carefully about how they approach situations to ensure they’re not out of commission at a key moment in the tournament.

RELATED: What are the group stage tiebreaker rules at the 2022 World Cup?

Do yellow cards carry over from the group stage?

At the 2022 World Cup, yellow cards do carry over from the group stage into the Round of 16. If a player receives one yellow card in the group stage and another in the Round of 16, they are ineligible for their team’s quarterfinal matchup. However, there is a “clean slate” from the quarterfinals into the semifinals where all previous cautions are wiped, so no players in the semifinals will be at risk of missing the final matches (final and third-place) due to accumulated yellow cards from earlier in the tournament.

Per FIFA, if a suspension can’t be served during the World Cup, it will be carried over to the team’s next official national match.

RELATED: World Cup 2022 odds: Favorites, underdogs, group stage winners

What do yellow cards mean at the World Cup?

Yellow cards are essentially cautions (also called “bookings”) given to players by match officials for a variety of infractions – these can include poor sportsmanship, delay of game, intentional injury to another player, not maintaining mandated distance from the ball on penalty kicks, impermissible language or other situations as determined by the referee on the pitch and the Video Assistant Referee. If a player receives multiple yellow cards, either in the same game or across multiple games, they receive an “indirect red,” which results in a one-match suspension.

Yellow cards can be a big problem for a team when it comes to missing key players, but they can also impact a squad’s chance of making it through the tournament. The final tiebreaker to determine which teams advance out of the group stages is the team conduct score, or “fair play” tiebreaker based on the number of yellow and red cards a team has accumulated. In a situation where teams are equal on all other tiebreakers, the side with the higher team conduct score will advance to the round of 16.

RELATED: Ranking the 2022 World Cup kits

World Cup 2022 schedule, start time, dates, how to watch live

  • When: November 20, 2022 to December 18, 2022
  • Group stage game kick-off times: 5am, 8am, 10am, 11am, 2pm (all ET)
  • Location: Qatar
  • TV channels en Español: Telemundo, Universo, Peacock
  • Streaming en Español: Peacock (all 64 matches)

Follow along with ProSoccerTalk for the latest news, scores, storylines, and updates surrounding the 2022 World Cup, and be sure to subscribe to NBC Sports on YouTube!