Gary Lineker breaks down likely World Cup golden boot winners

Lionel Messi Argentina

Manchester United striker, Manchester United man, Barcelona and Real Madrid superstars, a Liverpool player and Chelsea target all feature in this FIFA list.

With six goals scored at the 1986 World Cup - self-described by the player as "six tap-ins, my team-mates did all the work!" - Gary Lineker won the golden boot having finished as the competition's top goalscorer thanks to his hat-trick netted against Poland, his brace versus Paraguay and his strike against Argentina.

Now a BBC pundit, Lineker has cast his eye at the likely winners of the 2014 World Cup's golden boot, with the first game kicking off on Thursday, June 12, when Brazil host Croatia.

Having previously heralded Lionel Messi - who plays for one of Lineker's former clubs Barcelona - as the superior attacker to Real Madrid athlete Cristiano Ronaldo, the Englishman unsurprisingly makes an attempted for the Argentine magician.

However, Lineker also notes other players, such as Liverpool and England man Daniel Sturridge, Manchester United and Netherlands hotshot Robin van Persie and Chelsea target Diego Costa, of Atletico Madrid and Spain.

"[Cristiano] Ronaldo must have a chance," said Lineker. "He's prolific, but are his team going to create enough for him? And will they progress far enough?

"Messi has to be the favourite, he's so prolific and the Group [games] can conjure up a few goals - he could score three alone against Iran! As for Aguero, as we know from his days with City, he is a prolific goalscorer so he has a chance.

"We know how good Robin van Persie is but he's been struggling for fitness, but if he finds it, he's one of the best in world football.

"Spain have found a striker, he's Brazilian but it doesn't matter! He scored a multitude of goals with Atletico Madrid. The Spanish are so creative but the one thing they've lacked lately is a prolific goalscorer."

Ronaldo, Messi, van Persie and Costa represent the favourites for the golden boot, Lineker suggests, before offering his outside shots: "After that, Daniel Sturridge has scored a lot of goals for Liverpool and if he takes that to international level he might have a chance but England will have to go a long way in the tournament.

"Benzema… I'm not sure he's the type of player who'll be that prolific and he's an outsider at best."

He continued: "The Italians have produced top scorers in the past like [1982 winner] Paolo Rossi and [1990 winner] Salvatore Schillaci who won it in 1990. They're known for defensive football but you never know what you'll get with Balotelli.

"Brazil have a couple candidates," he said. "Fred is a goal-scorer, not wonderfully gifted but knows how to score. All eyes will be on Neymar but he tends to play out wide. I think Neymar will score goals but don't think he'll win the golden boot."

On the Germans, he said: "But what about Thomas Muller, 2010's winner. He's probably the most natural goalscorer they've had since Klose."

Concluding, Lineker said: "If I pick one - its Messi!

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