MAGICAL Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson has claimed the Golden Boot as the world's best rugby league player, and in doing brought the prestigious award under question once again.
The award met with criticism in 2012 when Englishman Kevin Sinfield was a surprise recipient.
The winner is chosen from votes by a 13-member panel, including former Test players, coaches and league writers worldwide.
Johnson (pictured) beat six finalists, reportedly polling almost double the votes of the runner-up, Englishman Sam Burgess.
His win was based heavily around his stunning performance against Australia in New Zealand's Four Nations final upset last month.
But there are those who believe the Warriors No.7's season was not as consistent as Brisbane halfback Ben Hunt or joint-Dally M winners Jarryd Hayne and Johnathan Thurston.
Regardless, Johnson is a superstar in the making.
The 24-year-old with blinding speed and dazzling footwork is the fourth Kiwi to win the Golden Boot after Hugh McGahan, Stacey Jones and Benji Marshall.
He was one of five Kiwi players from the Four Nations final named in a World XV.
"I was pretty aware of the players who'd won it before because they were players that I grew up watching, like Stacey Jones and Andrew Johns," he said.
"I felt I finished the year really well and was able to take that into the Four Nations and was really happy with how I played for the Kiwis."