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Financial Times: And whose foot will the slipper fit?

History suggests there are two routes to winning the Golden Boot, awarded to the top scorer at each World Cup: play in a lot of games; or batter in a hatful in one match against poor opposition.

Prime exponent of the second method was Oleg Salenko, the Russian forward who, in 1994, hit five against a dispirited Cameroon in a meaningless group match to finish as the tournament's joint top-scorer with Hristo Stoichkov of Bulgaria.

That was a case of an ageing team with nothing left to play for capitulating - as Bulgaria themselves did against Spain four years later. The side most likely to cave in like this in 2006 is Iran. Given that their final group game is against Angola, it is difficult to see any opposition forward cashing in.

Group D is, nonetheless, probably the one with the greatest disparity between teams and it would be no great surprise to see Portugal and Mexico scoring freely in their opening matches.

by Fran on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 12:40:55 AM EST
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