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Cristiano Ronaldo sets tone for World Cup Golden Boot race

The race for the 2018 Fifa World Cup Golden Boot has already commenced in earnest, even as half of the participating nations wait to take to the pitch.

Portugal’s talisman and skipper Cristiano Ronaldo currently leads the goal scorers’ chart after plundering three goals against Spain in an explosive contest that ended 3-3 on Friday night.

The Real Madrid star scored via a penalty, left-footed drive and exquisite free kick to earn his side a credible draw in against a star-studded Spanish team.

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Spain striker Diego Costa, formerly at Chelsea but currently plying his trade at Atletico Madrid, also opened his account with a brace in the same match.

Russia’s super sub Denis Cheryshev too has two goals from the tournament’s opening match against Saudi Arabia, a contest the hosts comfortably won 5-0.

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Frenchman Antoine Griezmann, Brazil forwards Neymar and Gabriel Jesus, Argentina captain Lionel Messi and Germany’s Mario Gomez are the other players expected to contest the top scorer’s gong.

Colombia’s James Rodriguez emerged the tournament’s top scorer with 6 goals four years ago in Brazil.