Harry Kane’s challenge: How previous WC Golden Boot fared the next season

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Harry Kane followed up a fourth successive 20-goal season in the Premier League for Tottenham by winning the Golden Boot at the World Cup – but can he continue his form?

Mauricio Pochettino has denied suggestions that Kane is suffering from fatigue having scored only two goals from six games for club and country so far this season, insisting it is “only time before he starts to score goals”.

But what does history suggest? We’ve taken a look at how the last nine World Cup Golden Boot winners fared in their first season following the tournament…

James Rodríguez – 2014 World Cup 

The Columbian attacker won the Golden Boot despite his nation being eliminated in the quarter-finals.

Such was the standard of his performances throughout the tournament – epitomised by his volley against Uruguay in the round of 16 – that Real Madrid bought the South American from AS Monaco for a reported £63 million.

In his first season, James opened his account for Los Blancos with a goal against rivals Atlético Madrid in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup, while another highlight was his dipping volley against Granada.

He scored 17 in all competitions in his first season for the club he always ‘dreamed’ of playing for.

Thomas Müller – 2010 World Cup

Müller was just 20 years old when he notched five goals in South Africa. Now he has 14 goals overall in the tournament and is third on the all-time leaderboard.

The youngster signed a contract extension with Bayern Munich and later reflected on what was “an almost unbelievable first year as a pro.”

Indeed, the German international scored 19 times in his first full season at Bayern, continuing his dazzling form.

Miroslav Klose – World Cup 2006

The striker, who is the World Cup all-time leading goalscorer, turned 40 over the summer.

When his nation hosted the World Cup in 2006, Klose had just turned 28 and was still playing for Werder Bremen.

He amassed 15 goals in 40 games the following season – just under half the amount he netted the year before (31) – and was signed by Bayern Munich at the end of it.

Ronaldo – 2002 World Cup

Entering the World Cup having just recovered from a career-threatening injury, Ronaldo took his frustration out on opposition during the tournament in South Korea and Japan.

He scored against every side he faced – bar England – and led Brazil to their fifth World Cup win.

After the World Cup, he left Inter for Real Madrid for €46million and went on to score 30 goals in 44 matches in the 2002-03 season, winning the FIFA World Player of the Year award that winter.

He dedicated the win to the medical staff who helped him back to fitness.

READ: A forensic analysis of Ronaldo’s display in the 2002 World Cup final

Davor Šuker – 1998 World Cup

Six goals in seven games for Šuker helped Croatia earn a third-place finish – their best World Cup campaign until 2018.

The striker couldn’t continue this form, however, and only netted five times in 26 outings for Real Madrid, in a season where his team-mates included Raúl, Clarence Seedorf, Christian Panucci and Bodo Illgner.

He left two seasons later and had short spells at Arsenal and West Ham, respectively.

Hristo Stoichkov and Oleg Salenko – 1994 World Cup

Salenko broke the record of scoring the most goals in the group stage game of the World Cup – five against Cameroon.

Thanks to his penalty in the match before against Sweden, he reached a tally of six. That made him joint top-scorer for the tournament despite Russia getting eliminated in the group stages.

The following season, 1994-95, he netted seven goals for Valencia but was sold the next year to Rangers.

Stoichkov, having been nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year and finishing as runner-up in for the second time in his career, had his fourth and final season for Barcelona after his World Cup exploits in 94, as part of Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team’, scoring 17 goals.

He left the season after to Parma.

Salvatore Schillaci – 1990 World Cup

The surprise star of Italia 90, Schillaci started on the bench for Italy’s game but went on to top score at the tournament with six goals, winning the Golden Ball as the best player.

A few years earlier he had been playing in Serie B for Messina, and after scoring 15 goals in 30 matches in his first season for Juventus prior to the tournament, his hot streak ended as he scored only five times in his second season for the Old Lady.

Gary Lineker – World Cup 1986

Then-Barcelona manager Terry Venables signed Lineker for £2.8million from Everton after the England striker won the Golden Boot in the famous 1986 World Cup.

An El Clasico hat-trick and 21 goals overall represented a more than decent return in his first season in Spain, and he went on to score 42 goals in 103 games in La Liga.


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