Euro 2020: The Race for the Golden Boot16.06.2021 11:00:27
Traditionally, you don’t need many goals to secure a Golden Boot in the European Championships.
The top forwards have already played their first game, so we’ve taken a look at how the race for the Euro 2020 Golden Boot has started to take shape.
The Early Contenders
The likes of Erling Haaland and Zlatan Ibrahimović might be missing, but there’s still hundreds of millions of pounds worth of talent on display at Euro 2020.
We’ve listed six of the top contenders during the early stages of the tournament.
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
Current odds: 9/4
A breakaway leader in the scoring charts after the first game, Romelu Lukaku has always been able to come up with the goods against smaller sides.
Belgium’s golden generation is beginning to run out of time if they want to win a major trophy, and they’ll need their talisman firing on all cylinders. Lukaku is now 28, while Kevin De Bruyne will be 30 before the end of the tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)
Current odds: 5/1
With 104 goals in 175 games for Portugal heading into the tournament, Cristiano Ronaldo will be hoping to win a second European Championship back-to-back, as well as the Golden Boot this time.
His future with Juventus may be uncertain, but he’s still trusted to come up with the goods; a late double against Hungary to open his Euro 2020 account in style demonstrated this very clearly.
He also became the European Championship all-time leading goalscorer following his brace, entering the record books yet again.
Ronaldo has to be worth a punt, although he faces Germany and France next in a duo of difficult ‘Group of Death’ games.
Harry Kane (England)
Current odds: 8/1
Harry Kane made a quiet start to Euro 2020 against Croatia, and must hope to add another Golden Boot to his collection after scoring six in the 2018 World Cup.
Only Ante Rebic had fewer touches in the opening 45 minutes of their first match, as Kane dropped ever deeper in an effort to find space.
He’ll be playing catch-up from now on, although he did finish as the top scorer in qualifying with 12 goals, at a rate of one every 56 minutes.
Kylian Mbappe (France)
Current odds: 10/1
Likely to feature in these lists for the next decade or so, Kylian Mbappe’s pace and his skills are capable of unlocking any defence in Europe.
Playing on the left wing due to the inclusion of Karim Benzema as the focal point of the team against Germany, he showed flashes of brilliance in France’s opener.
He managed to curl the ball into the net effortlessly, although it was correctly ruled offside.
Ciro Immobile (Italy)
Current odds: 14/1
Ciro Immobile opened his account with the third goal in a 3-0 win over Turkey, as Italy scored more than two goals in a European Championship game for the first time ever.
They’re also in a weaker group, with further opportunities to stake his claim against the likes of Switzerland and Wales.
It’s easy to forget that Immobile notched 36 goals in 37 Serie A appearances in 2019/20, and scored 20 league goals heading into the tournament.
Memphis Depay (Netherlands)
Current odds: 20/1
The Netherlands completed a 3-0 demolition job on Georgia in their final game before heading into the tournament, as Memphis Depay smashed a penalty into the bottom corner to take the lead.
He led the line in a 3-2 win against Ukraine, but Wout Weghorst was the striker who managed to bury the ball in the back of the net.
Depay is a clear outsider compared to the pure goalscorers mentioned above, and it’s reflected in the odds offered for a player who looks set to join Barcelona after the tournament concludes.
The Best of the Rest
Antoine Griezmann (France) earned the Golden Boot award as the top scorer of the 2016 tournament with six goals, the most for a player since Michel Platini scored nine in 1984.
Then there’s his teammate Karim Benzema, who has returned to the team in place of Olivier Giroud. He almost scored one of the easiest tap-ins of his career to make it 2-0 against Germany, although it was ruled offside thanks to VAR.
The much unfancied Patrik Schick (Czech Republic) has already notched two goals in their opener against Scotland. A couple more and he would have to be in contention for the silverware.
Spain are lacking when it comes to a proven goalscorer, while Germany also looked toothless, for all of their young attacking talent.
5 goals by Milan Baros were enough to win The Golden Boot at Portugal 2004, while David Villa only scored four in Austria and Switzerland 2008.
For now, a tally of 5-6 looks like it’ll be enough to be in contention, even if the likes of Ronaldo and Lukaku have already banged in braces.
Currently, the game is less defensively minded, with a sole 0-0 draw after 12 games played, courtesy of Spain and Sweden.
It bodes well for someone to break Platini’s insane record of 9 goals in five games in ‘84.
If we had to pick a frontrunner, we’d stick with the most prolific footballer in Europe, who is likely to add to his tally as the all-time top goalscorer.
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