While fans of Beerfest know there is a difference between Das Boot and the Golden Boot, the excitement in conquering both is palpable. To be the leading scorer at the World Cup isn't just an amazing achievement, it also ensures your name will live on forever in the record books.
In 2010, four stars—Germany's Thomas Muller, Spain's David Villa, Holland's Wesley Sneijder and Uruguay's Diego Forlan—tied with five goals (Muller won the Golden Boot on account of having three assists, the most among the players in question). But who will win the award this year?
We've a long way to go until we have an answer to that question. But we can take a look at which players opened their World Cup accounts Friday, along with taking a look at the results on the day.
Day 2 Results
|Group||Team 1||Score||Team 2|
Golden Boot Watch
|Robin van Persie||Netherlands||2|
|Stefan de Vrij||Netherlands||1|
We probably should be talking about Giovani dos Santos in this section, as he scored two goals in Mexico's opener against Cameroon. Unfortunately for both him and El Tri, both were incorrectly disallowed by offside calls.
Dos Santos nearly had another anyway, however, but his second-half shot was saved by keeper Charles Itandje. But Oribe Peralta, justifying his starting spot at forward over Manchester United's Javier Hernandez, was there to scoop up the rebound and slot home the game's only goal.
Here's the tally, via SportsCenter on Twitter:
Victory for El Tri! Oribe Peralta scores the lone goal as Mexico beats Cameroon 1-0 in their World Cup opener. VIDEO: http://t.co/cJLHgVNqfL— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 13, 2014
Paul Carr of ESPN put into perspective the goal for Peralta:
Oribe Peralta puts Mexico up 1-0 with his 17th int'l goal, ending a four-game scoring drought.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) June 13, 2014
Take away that four-game drought, however, and Peralta has continuously proved for El Tri why he deserves to start at forward for the team, as OptaJose tweeted:
9 - Oribe Peralta has scored nine goals in his last seven competitive appearances for #MEX. Brush.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) June 13, 2014
After the game, Peralta talked about what the win really meant, per Tom Marshall of ESPN FC:
Oribe Peralta: Victory is for all the people and fans that have supported us. We wanted to score more goals.— Tom Marshall (@mexicoworldcup) June 13, 2014
Peralta got his tally, but it already looks as though it will be tough to beat Neymar for this tournament's Golden Boot, or Robin van Persie or Arjen Robben, for that matter. The two Dutchman each earned a brace in the Netherlands stunning 5-1 decapitation of Spain.
Already, Van Persie put his name in the running for golazo of the tournament. Check out this beauty, via ESPN FC on Twitter:
Simply magnificent. If the Dutch played like they did against Spain, both Van Persie and Robben are going to collect goals in bulk (and some truly pretty ones, at that).
Another player to keep an eye on will be Alexis Sanchez of Chile. Though he didn't join the brace club, he did score a goal and is the most dangerous among the attack-minded Chileans. If Chile survive a tough Group B, he could add several more tallies before all is said and done.
But back to Neymar. The talisman for Brazil struck twice in the host country's opener against Croatia, and one would guess Brazil will have a deeper run through this tournament than Mexico—or most other countries, for that matter.
Plus, Neymar just plays differently for country than he does for club. Afforded more freedom to roam and find the play with Brazil than he has with Barcelona—that luxury is afforded to a star who shines even brighter than Neymar, Lionel Messi—his form with Brazil is nothing short of astonishing.
The attack will always run through Neymar, and as he's proved time and time again, he is capable of the sublime every time his foot touches the ball. Just 22, he could become a legend at this tournament.
But we've a long way to go in Brazil before such claims can be substantiated. And things are already off to a brilliantly entertaining—if not controversial—start.