Arsenal ace, Man United legend… Five EURO 2016 stars to back for the Golden Boot

Back in 2012, a European Championship that Spain claimed, six players sat atop the goal scoring leaderboard with an output of three goals. Spain weere powered by Fernando Torres, and it was him credited with the Golden Boot, courtesy of also registering an assist in the tournament while playing less minutes than Germany’s Mario Gomez.

As the field of teams increases to 24 countries, up from the 16, this year’s EURO-bound stars have a better chance than ever to find the back of the net regularly. This should lead to an increased chance to help distinguish one prolific goalscorer above the rest of the pack. However, it would take a heroic effort to beat Michel Platini’s record of nine goals in one tournament, achieved in 1984.

In three of the last four competitions, the mark of the top goalscorer was five. Which player is most likely to accomplish the feat and win the EURO 2016 Golden Boot? ere are FIVE candidates…

Thomas Muller, Germany

Football - Bayern Munich v AC Milan - Audi Cup Semi Final - Pre Season Friendly Tournament - Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany - 4/8/15 Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Muller, always has a tendency to step up in big tournaments. He finished the 2014 World Cup with five goals, earning him the silver boot. With nine goals in 10 appearances in this year’s EURO qualifying, his play dictates that he is seeking an upgrade to gold.

The 26-year old Bayern Munich product scored 32 goals this year, his most productive season yet. Muller will be relied upon heavily by a relatively young Germany squad that is trying to claim a fourth EURO title, which would be the most by any country in event history.

Muller’s supreme finishing touch will be on display in Group C, where Germany are expected to emerge as the top seed, as their counterparts are Northern Ireland, Poland, and Ukraine. Muller should be able to exit the group stage at a goal per game pace, if not more.

The Bookmakers Odds: 7/1

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Football - Real Madrid v Barcelona - Liga BBVA - Santiago Bernabeu - 21/11/15 Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo looks dejected Reuters / Paul Hanna Livepic EDITORIAL USE ONLY.

Ronaldo was one of the half a dozen players to sit atop the goal scoring table with three strikes in 2012. One of the greatest footballers to ever play the game and a behemoth name in this generation, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing down.

Ronaldo, 31, scored 51 goals in 48 appearances with Real Madrid last season, his fifth straight campaign at greater than a goal per game pace. Heralded for his mentally sharp play and excellent positioning, along with his physicality, he’ll be Portugal’s main man.

One thing that may leave onlookers weary of choosing Ronaldo is a Portugal team that leaves something to be desired. Ronaldo should be able to have an outstanding group stage, facing off against Iceland, Hungary, and Austria, but that lack of competition could haunt them come the elimination round.

The Bookmakers Odds: 8/1

Antoine Griezmann, France

Griezmann
The French have high expectations entering the tournament as the host country, and if they are going to claim their first EURO title since 2000, much of the goal scoring responsibilities falls on the back of Antoine Griezmann.

However, Griezmann, 25, has proven that he can handle the load. The Macon-born ace pushed Atletico Madrid to the Champions League final, registering 32 goals in 54 appearances in the season just gone, and is a very pacey player. Griezmann is currently in form and with the added boost of France being hosts could provide a real chance that he emerges as the 2016 Golden Boot winner.

With opponents in Romania, Albania, and Switzerland, it’s likely Griezmann, who will also be counted upon for penalties, gets off to a good start.

The Bookmakers Odds: 11/1

Oliver Giroud, France

Olivier Giroud
Another pick from the host country, the exclusion of Benezma should lead to increased responsibility for Giroud, enhancing the probability he finds the net frequently.

Giroud possesses a tantalising shot, while also providing size in the box and sufficient heading abilities. The 29-year old Chambery product scored 24 goals in 54 outings for Arsenal last season, illustrating his quality

He should be able to also benefit from France’s group and host status.

The Bookmakers Odds: 15/1

Robert Lewandowski, Poland

MUNICH, GERMANY - APRIL 21: Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Muenchen celebrates scoring the fifth goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between FC Bayern Muenchen and FC Porto at Allianz Arena on April 21, 2015 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Regarded as one of the most complete strikers in the world, any success Poland will have in this tournament will hinge on the Bayern Munich man. After his most prolific season yet, 42 goals in 51 matches with Bayern, and coming off 11 international goals in 2015, Lewandowski is a striker that could lead his team single handedly.

Deadly on the box, and efficient with both feet as well as his head, Lewandowski is a defender’s nightmare.

The Warsaw native will have to provide a heroic effort to push Poland to new heights, though. They’re yet to advance past the group stage in a tournament, but being paired with Germany, Northern Ireland, and Ukraine, they stand a good chance at the No. 2 spot.

The Bookmakers Odds: 16/1

Dark Horse Candidates

The Real Prince Harry

Belgium has been labeled as a real threat in the EUROs this year, and Romelu Lukaku (17/1) should be their leading candidate to score the biggest share of their goals. The Everton striker bagged 25 goals and 16 assists last season.

Thanks to the emergence of some talented strikers, England’s five-pronged attack has put hopes high in the United Kingdom. Tottenham’s Harry Kane (18/1) and Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy (40/1) have both excelled this year, and the Three Lions hope that their sparkling play carries over to the EUROs

The 22-year old Kane finished atop the goal chart in the Premier League with 25 goals and is a strong pick for the Golden Boot if he retains penalty kick duties for England. Finishing behind Kane was Vardy, who used his relentless work ethic and lethal pace to score 24 goals, including tallying in a record 11 consecutive games.

Comments are closed on this article.