It’s nearly three months until the delayed Euro 2020 competition finally gets underway.
With the World Cup qualifiers in full flow at the moment and taking centre stage during a two-week hiatus from club football, it’s an apt time to look ahead to Europe’s showpiece international football event.
Perhaps it’s a touch too soon to draw any broad conclusions regarding what might happen at Euro 2020, but we’re pretty confident about the players who are most likely to be amongst the goals.
Indeed, here at GIVEMESPORT we’ve ranked the 15 players with the strongest credentials to win the Golden Boot this summer.
From the timely Hollywood return of Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the understated brilliance of Norwich City’s Teemu Pukki, we count down the top 15 candidates in descending order.
Take a look at who makes the cut below…
15. Teemu Pukki – Finland
Pukki is the epitome of a dark horse contender. The 31-year-old striker’s eye for goal has only improved with age and he’s also a talismanic figure in Finnish football.
The Scandinavian outfit owed much of their qualification to Pukki’s goal scoring prowess. He scored ten goals in as many games to book their place at the tournament, while his return of 22 goals in 34 Championship appearances shows that he’s in fine form ahead of their opening match against Denmark on June 12.
14. Olivier Giroud – France
Any French attacking player stands a great chance of securing the Golden Boot, such is the quality of Didier Deschamps’ squad.
Olivier Giroud played a pivotal role in France’s 2018 World Cup win in a target man role, though he didn’t score a single goal as Kylian Mbappe and co ran riot around him.
Perhaps he can add goals to his game on what may well be the 34-year-old’s last appearance at a major international tournament.
13. Gareth Bale – Wales
Wales face stiff opposition in Group A with fixtures against Italy, Switzerland and Turkey, so they’ll need Gareth Bale to produce a few moments of magic to stand any chance of progressing to the knockout stage.
With a return of 33 goals in 89 games at international level, Bale has an outside chance of doing something special to salvage what has otherwise been a mediocre season on loan at Tottenham Hotspur.
12. Memphis Depay – The Netherlands
Memphis Depay is The Netherland’s most potent attacking weapon and faces an attractive set of fixtures against Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia.
Lyon’s creative forward averages around a goal in every three international fixtures, but he’ll need to post a more regular return than that to clinch the Golden Boot this summer.
11. Ciro Immobile – Italy
Roberto Mancini will need to choose between Ciro Immobile and Andrea Belotti to lead the line for Italy, which is an unenviable task given their potency at club level and comparable player profiles.
But the former is in excellent form leading up to the competition having scored 14 goals in 25 Serie A games so far this season, and he has the potential to finally make an impression to a broader audience after years of thriving in Serie A.
10. Timo Werner – Germany
Turbo Timo Werner, Chelsea’s road-running extraordinaire, has endured a frustrating opening season in west London since his move from RB Leipzig.
However, he has scored 13 goals in 27 competitive international fixtures and has previous in winning Golden Boots at a major international tournament.
Werner won the Confederations Cup with Germany in 2017 and topped the goal scoring charts with three in five matches.
9. Zlatan Ibrahimovic – Sweden
Will Ibrahimovic dare to Zlatan one last time?
The 39-year-old has already prepared the script by coming out of retirement ahead of the tournament, making his first international appearances in almost five years in the recent qualifiers against Georgia and Kosovo.
Lights, camera, Zlatan.
8. Robert Lewandowski – Poland
Few, if any, players come into the competition with such a prolific record in front of goal, but Robert Lewandowski’s chances are hampered by the quality of his international teammates.
The success of Paulo Sousa’s side rests almost entirely on Lewandowski’s shoulders, and he’ll need to replicate his scintillating club form to help Poland advance into the knockout stage.
7. Serge Gnabry – Germany
With a return of 15 goals in 19 games for Germany, Serge Gnabry is a firm contender for the Golden Boot.
This will be the 25-year-old’s first major international tournament and he looks destined to make his mark following a wonderful period of progression at Bayern Munich.
6. Antoine Griezmann – France
The Euro 2016 Golden Boot winner will be bidding to secure back-to-back individual accolades at the delayed tournament.
Antoine Griezmann’s return of 14 goals in 40 games for Barcelona in 2020/21 isn’t as impressive as many others on this list, but his previous in big tournaments combined with France’s prospects of winning the whole tournament put him in real contention.
5. Bruno Fernandes – Portugal
Portugal will be defending their European Championship title with a markedly stronger squad than they had five years ago.
Bruno Fernandes didn’t make his debut for the national side until 2017 and he’s only scored twice in 25 games since then.
On the back of his season with Manchester United, though, it’s impossible to dispute his credentials.
4. Romelu Lukaku – Belgium
Roberto Martinez will fancy his chances of navigating his way beyond Russia, Denmark and Finland in Group F.
The draw has been relatively kind to FIFA’s number one ranked side and Romelu Lukaku is bound to be amongst the goals in the group stage.
Lukaku finished joint-second in the World Cup Golden Boot race in 2018, averages just shy of two goals in three games at international level and comes into the tournament on the back of a prolific season in Serie A for table-topping Inter Milan.
A major contender.
3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal
One player who might just stand in Fernandes’ way is Cristiano Ronaldo.
With 102 goals in 172 games already for Portugal, including 11 in eight qualifying games, Ronaldo is bound to add to his tally this summer.
Premier League stars Ricardo Pereira, Bernardo Silva, Joao Cancelo, Pedro Neto and Fernandes will be looking to provide the legendary forward in stern tests against Germany and France in Group F.
2. Harry Kane – England
Harry Kane will be aiming to add another international accolade to his collection after winning the Golden Boot at the 2018 World Cup.
In a front-line that will include the likes of Jadon Sancho, Raheem Sterling, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish and Marcus Rashford, Kane will be surrounded by first-class creative talents and is bound to chip in with a few goals at the tournament.
His chances of winning the Golden Boot will depend on how far England advance in the tournament, but he’s undoubtedly a huge favourite.
1. Kylian Mbappe – France
France’s Footballer of the Year for 2018 holds the key to his nation’s glory this summer.
Kylian Mbappe is arguably the most coveted player in world football right now and he’ll be looking to cement his status as the heir to Messi and Ronaldo’s throne by adding another international trophy to his cabinet.
The 22-year-old scored four goals in seven games at the World Cup three years ago and tied for second place in the Golden Boot standings with Lukaku, Griezmann, Denis Cheryshev and Ronaldo.
Can he go one better this time round?