Who can seriously challenge Muller for Euro 2016 Golden Boot?
Lee Gormley | March 5, 2016
Who can challenge Muller for Golden Boot?
Bayern Munich marksman Thomas Muller earned his maiden international call-up to the Germany ranks in 2010, and later that year he stormed to goal scoring prominence by finishing as top scorer at the World Cup in South Africa as his nation secured third place.
With five goals in six outings on South African soil, as well as three assists, Muller swiftly endeared himself to the German supporters and boss Joachim Low, also being crowned young player of the tournament for his exploits.
Four years later in Brazil, the menacing poacher starred in Germany’s dominant World Cup triumph, netting five goals to finish second top scorer, and it’s his incredible international streak that sees him enter Euro 2016 as 6/1 hot favourite with Coral for a Golden Boot win.
With the all-time World Cup goal scorer Miroslav Klose having retired, Muller is now the main Germany striker, and will be pivotal to any success in France this summer, but which other forwards can challenge him for that coveted Golden Boot crown?
If anyone can beat Muller to top of the scoring standings at the Euros, Bayern teammate Lewandowski may be the one, with the prolific Poland sharpshooter having enjoyed a truly rampant season to date.
The Bundesliga hitman began the current campaign immensely, coming off the bench for Pep Guardiola’s Bavarians when they were a goal down to incredibly fire in a nine-minute five-goal haul at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern’s clinical frontman hasn’t looked back since those heroics, having now bagged over 30 strikes in total, including ending as Euro qualifying’s top marksman, making the deadly frontman 16/1 for Golden Boot success.
As a talented young winger, Ronaldo helped Portugal, alongside retired legend Luis Figo, reach the final of Euro 2004, but his nation were agonisingly toppled by surprise package Greece.
Now, 12 years later, as arguably the best player on the planet, the Real Madrid marksman faces potentially his final European Championship outing, where he is 7/1 to finish atop the scorer charts in France.
Time is running out for the national skipper to clinch tournament success, so could this finally be Ronaldo and Portugal’s year?
Ibrahimovic faces a similar situation to Ronaldo, as he gears up for what could ultimately be his last tournament hurray in yellow and blue, with the PSG bulldozer now 34 years of age.
The prolific Parisians attacker will see Euro 2016 as a home event, having been blasting in goals for fun in Ligue 1 for the capital club since arriving in 2012. Sweden will need their leading man on point to hold any hope of a strong showing and he is 22/1 to end as top scorer.
Regarded as one of the most promising forwards in Europe, currently plying his trade under Gary Neville at Valencia, Spain’s Alcacer carries a lot of expectation going into this summer’s showcase football event.
The 22-year-old won the European Championship twice with the Spanish Under-19 side and was his nation’s deadliest finisher in Euro qualifying with five strikes. This Los Che hitman is likely to get the nod ahead of Diego Costa for his international instincts and is 22/1 to finish atop the scorer charts in France.
Croatia could easily become the dark horses for Euro 2016, after an impressive qualifying campaign which saw them finish second to Italy in Group H, as they possess huge talent in midfield and up front, though a suspect defence could be their undoing.
Experienced targetman Mandzukic will lead the line for Ante Cacic’s Blazers, and is 25/1 to end top of the pile at Euro 2016. He may not be enjoying a truly prolific term but, with creative talents Luka Modric, Marcelo Brozovic, Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic behind him, anything is possible.
A whole country awaits and expects big things this summer, as host nation France aim for their first major international silverware since storming to Euro 2000 victory 16 years ago.
Two Confederations Cup coups and second-place at the 2006 World Cup have since followed, but pressure rests on the likes of Karim Benzema and Atletico Madrid attacker Griezmann this summer, with the latter 12/1 to claim the Golden Boot.
The La Liga forward recently bagged the winner over bitter rivals Real Madrid and has reached the 20-goal mark for a second successive campaign. Can France’s leading light continue his form into the summer?
Following what has already been a phenomenal personal season for Everton striker Lukaku, his national coach Marc Wilmots will hope to see such encouraging form brought into France, where Belgium are aiming to prove they aren’t just a strong side on paper.
The Red Devils possess an abundance of talent in their armoury, and Toffees targetman Lukaku could be pivotal to any success gained in 2016.
Lukaku may not have been as clinical as expected in qualifying, with Eden Hazard (33/1), Kevin De Bruyne and Marouane Fellaini all scoring more but, after an impressive club campaign, things can only get better for the 16/1 Golden Boot shot.
Real Madrid’s Welsh wizard Bale looked a different animal when donning international colours, from his previously stuttering time in famous club white, sending his nation to a first major tournament since 1958 with seven crucial qualifying strikes.
The Galactico relishes starring for Chris Coleman’s Dragons and will need to perform to his best in France for them to put on a solid showing, and the pivotal Wales marksman is 50/1 to land the Golden Boot honour.
England enter Euro 2016 with one of the finest finishers in Europe within their ranks, and it’s not Wayne Rooney. Tottenham sharpshooter Kane has been sublime since bursting onto the scene last term and is 16/1 to secure the Golden Boot accolade at what could be a thrilling Euro 2016.
If Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions are to find success on the road in France, then Kane may be the frontman to guide them, with Rooney’s fitness a worry after another long-term injury, though Jamie Vardy could play a part in proceedings.