‘The Monster’ Elling Holland (23-Manchester City) is arguably the biggest story in world soccer for the 2022-2023 season. He was a world-class goal scorer. He dominated the English Premier League and all five major European leagues. His solo ascent to the 30-goal plateau signaled that his world had opened up.
“I recognize a good tree by its leaves.” It’s a saying that comes to mind when we think of Holland. Four years ago, he burst onto the scene like a comet, heralding the arrival of the ‘Holland era’. He was the top scorer (9 goals) at the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, and it was clear that the world’s best goalie was in the making.
However, Holland’s rise to the top of the scoring charts came with a strange twist. In the history of the Golden Boot, which dates back to the 1977 FIFA World Youth Championship (Tunisia), Holland is the only player to have ever won it. It’s a tangible reminder of his terrifying goal explosion.
Holland’s home country is Norway. At the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Norway failed to make it out of the group stage (1 win, 2 losses), but Holland still managed to win the Golden Boot. He scored more goals (9) than the next four runners-up, including Andrea Pinamonti (Italy), by a wide margin.
All nine of those goals came in one game, a 12-0 win over Honduras in Group C. It was a rare “triple hat trick. It was a rare “triple hat trick. Until then, of course, no one had ever done it in the tournament’s 42-year history. Never before had a top scorer come from a team eliminated in the group stage. 안전놀이터
It’s unlikely that Holland’s record of winning the Golden Boot in a single game will ever be matched again, and the fact that he scored nine goals in a single game at the FIFA World Cup, a tournament where nations are often at odds with each other, is simply unbelievable.
That’s good enough for third place all-time. Only Javier Saviola (Argentina 2001) and Adai Utong (Brazil 1997) have scored more goals than Holland. However, when you consider that Argentina won the World Cup with Saviola and Brazil reached the quarterfinals with Adaiutong as their leading scorer, the magnitude of Holland’s record becomes clear.
Salenko becomes the only player to score at both the U-20 and World Cup, a feat not even Messi has accomplished
The FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 kicked off on June 20 (local time). It’s still early days, but South Korea’s 2-1 upset of arch-rivals France in their Group F opener on Sept. 22 has already sparked a lot of interest and excitement among Korean fans. In the last edition of the tournament, South Korea finished as runners-up under Holland, so this is a highly anticipated event.
Along with Korea’s performance, it will be interesting to see who breaks records and takes home the top scoring honors this time around. The nature of soccer is such that no matter the stage, there is bound to be interest in who will take home the golden boot.
In this vein, FIFA has also introduced an early top scorer’s race, taking a look at some of the most significant Golden Boot winners of all time. Aside from Saviola, the all-time leading goalscorer, and Holland, the all-time leading goalscorer in a single match, FIFA’s favorite was Oleg Salenko at the 1989 Saudi Arabia tournament. Salenko is the only player to top the scoring charts at both the U-20 and World Cup. Salenko won the Golden Boot at the 1989 U-20s (5 goals – USSR) and the 1994 World Cup in the United States (6 goals – Russia).
Lionel Messi (36-Argentina) and Davor Schürrle (55) are the closest goalies to Salenko. Messi won the Golden Boot (six goals) at the 2005 U-20s in the Netherlands, but his best result at the World Cup level was the Silver Boot (seven goals) at Qatar 2022. Conversely, Schurrle narrowly missed out on the Silver Boot (6 goals) with Yugoslavia at the 1987 U-20s, but won the Golden Boot (6 goals) with Croatia at the 1998 World Cup in France.
Meanwhile, Argentina and Brazil share the honor of producing the most goalscorers with four each. Ramon Díaz (1979-Japan), Saviola, Messi, and Sergio Aguero (2007-Canada) are the most prolific in Argentina’s history, while Brazil’s list includes the original Agnaudu Roberto Gallon (4 goals), as well as Heovani Ciuba (6 goals-1983 Mexico), Adaiutong, and Enrique (5 goals-2011 Colombia).