There's only one debate in the days leading up to a World Cup that can possibly come close to the 'who'll lift the trophy?' hype.
That question: Who will finish the tournament as top goalscorer?
The 'Golden Boot' award is almost as prestigious to a striker as helping their nation win the event itself, and it's also far harder for fans to predict, too.
That hasn't stopped our Roundtablers from having a crack, however, and once you've seen who they think will be in the goals in Brazil, you can add your own picks and explanations at the bottom.
Alex Chick (Twitter: @alex_eurosport):
Miroslav Klose - 'Salenko's Law' says this is the most futile of all bets - if someone sticks four past Honduras that could be the ball game. But if we're looking for a player who will score a high percentage of his team's goals, and is in a relatively straightforward group, let's have one last punt on Klose for old times' sake.
Tom Adams (Twitter: @tomEurosport):
Gonzalo Higuain - With Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria in the group stages, Argentina look well placed to bag a few goals in their opening three games and Higuain will be there to finish off any chances he gets. A record of 21 goals in 36 games is more than respectable and he scores goals wherever he goes, with 24 in 44 for Napoli this season. Aguero might be suffering from fitness problems while Messi isn’t as prolific for country as he is for his club, so Higuain looks well placed to profit.
Sean Fay (Twitter: @Sean_Fay):
Neymar - I feel Brazilian hopes will live or die with Neymar. I’m not sure if he is quite good enough to take them all the way but he is likely to score the bulk of their goals which could easily be enough to see him pick up the Golden Boot. Fred was their top scorer at the Confederations Cup but it might tougher for him to replicate that this summer. Neymar is likely to all over the set-pieces too, so should have plenty of chances to pad his tally.
Lionel Messi – not because Argentina will win the whole thing (though of course they have a good chance) but because they have a very straightforward group stage. Messi has a great chance of really getting into his stride against at least one of Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria, meaning he could very easily have four or five goals under his belt before the group stage is over. Add one or two more in the last-16 and quarter-finals and he'll have the six or more that is almost always enough. Sure, there's big pressure on him since he's got so much to prove – but he's good enough to prove it. As for Ronaldo? He just ain't right at the moment – he's been at too high a level for too long, and has come off the boil (in terms of both his health and his skill) just at the wrong time.
Liam Happe (Twitter: @liamhappe):
Edin Dzeko - What I love about the World Cup top scorer award is how possible it is for a very left-field player to take the accolade, whereas the tournament itself is very rarely won by a complete underdog, if ever. Bosnia are a side in a great rhythm and despite being slightly under-appreciated at Man City, Dzeko is a multi-faceted striker who bangs in the goals regardless of how much pitch time he gets. Assuming Bosnia don't get stage-fright, they will punch above their weight and have a decent run, giving Dzeko all the pitch time he needs to prove himself on the big stage with five or six goals.
Dan Quarrell (Twitter: @Dan_Eurosport):
Lionel Messi - Let's not overcomplicate this: Messi will flourish in an Argentina team brimming with quality and as the focal point of one of the most talented attacking forces. This World Cup will be the major tournament which sees the great Barcelona forward really excel on the biggest international stage and a run through to the final will provide him with ample opportunity to rack up a haul that no one else will be able to match. He will be the player of the tournament and the top goalscorer.
Reda Maher (Twitter: @Reda_Eurosport):
Romelu Lukaku - My inclination is to pick someone who operates as a lone target man for a team in a group with more than one relatively 'weaker' side. As such, it was a toss-up between Edin Dzeko (Bosnia vs Iran and Nigeria), Lukaku (Belgium vs South Korea and Algeria) and Karim Benzema (France vs Honduras and Ecuador). That goes to show how strong this World Cup is, with very few in the way of soft-touch teams - South Korea and Nigeria, for example, could quite easily make it out of their groups. With Christian Benteke injured and a point to prove, Lukaku will start, score, and probably go further in the competition thanks to the strength of his Belgium team.
Desmond Kane :
Cristiano Ronaldo - If Portugal go deep into the tournament, it will be down to the goals of this bloke. How do you control the uncontrollable? If he stays injury-free - which is a huge question mark at the time of writing - there is no reason why the Ballon d'Or winner can't wallow in goals. Could be a straight fight between the Real Madrid player and his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi to see who winds up as top goalscorer. As an aside, Luis Suarez should also help himself to a few goals. But predicting such happenings is hardly rocket science.
Marcus Foley (Twitter: @mmjfoley):
Jackson Martinez – The Porto star grabbed a 20-goal haul in the Portuguese Liga this season and has a very impressive 46 goals in 60 games over the last two seasons. Having opened their Group C campaign against a frugal Greece, Colombia will then face the slightly less meticulous defences of Ivory Coast and Japan, so expect him to be amongst the goals early on as he assumes the role of chief goal getter for Jose Pekerman’s men. The very able Carlos Bacca and James Rodriguez will be those responsible for providing the ammunition.
Lionel Messi (Argentina) - 2 votes
Miroslav Klose (Germany) - 1 vote
Gonzalo Higuain (Argentina) - 1 vote
Neymar (Brazil) - 1 vote
Edin Dzeko (Bosnia) - 1 vote
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) - 1 vote
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) - 1 vote
Jackson Martinez (Colombia) - 1 vote
- Sports & Recreation
- Miroslav Klose
- Gonzalo Higuain
- Edin Dzeko