Euro 2012: Golden Boot contenders

Published Add your comment

Football News

With Euro 2012 set to kick-off in just a matter of weeks, GiveMeFootball runs the rule over the leading contenders for the Golden Boot in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

Here is a list of the players most likely to be at the top of the goalscoring charts at the end of the tournament.

Do you agree? Have your say at the bottom of the article and let us know who you think is going to be top goalscorer...

Mario Gomez (Germany): 7/1

The 26-year-old Bayern Munich striker has been in prolific form this season, netting an impressive 26 goals in the Bundesliga, and an incredible 12 in the German giants' march to the Champions League final.

Gomez scored on his debut for Germany against Switzerland in 2007, and has a solid record which reads 21 goals in 52 international appearances. But, despite being installed as the pre-tournament favourite to clinch the Golden Boot this summer, he is yet to find the net in a major competition.

The tried and tested partnership of Lukas Podolski (20/1) and Miroslav Klose (14/1) will likely be separated in order to accommodate Gomez in Joachim Loew's attack - so it's time for Gomez to break his tournament duck, and start delivering for Germany.

Robin van Persie (Netherlands): 9/1

The 28-year-old Arsenal striker was rightly named Premier League Player of the Year after almost single-handedly dragging Arsenal into third place in the table, with a haul of 30 league goals.

His most prolific season in English football has coincided with a prolonged spell away from the treatment table, and an extended run in Arsene Wenger's first team.

With 25 goals in 62 appearances for the Netherlands - including four at Euro 2008 before the Dutch were eliminated - Van Persie has impressed at international level, despite only scoring once in the 2010 World Cup, where the Oranje Army reached the final.

Klaas Jan Huntelaar (16/1) could also make a significant impact after topping the Bundesliga scoring charts with Schalke. He was equally prolific in the Europa League this year, and also ended the Euro 2012 qualification campaign as top scorer with 12 goals. But, the fact that Netherlands tend to prefer a 4-2-3-1 formation - with one out-and-out striker - could mean his opportunities are limited.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): 10/1

The Portuguese forward has enjoyed an incredible season with Real Madrid, scoring an emphatic 45 goals in La Liga, as well as 10 in the Champions League for Jose Mourinho's men.

However, Ronaldo's international record is far less impressive, with 32 goals in 88 appearances for Portugal, his lack of major tournament pedigree means that it is not often clear what you are going to get with the 27-year-old.

The fact that Paulo Bento's side have been placed in Group B at Euro 2012, alongside the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, means Portugal face a tough ask to progress past the first round. Ronaldo's goals will be imperative if they are to do so.

Karim Benzema (France): 16/1

The 24-year-old has scored 13 goals in 42 appearances for France, and has a healthy return of 20 goals for Real Madrid this season, despite featuring regularly from the bench for the La Liga champions.

Omitted from Raymond Domenech's 2010 World Cup squad, Benzema has been a focal point of Les Bleus attack under Laurent Blanc, and will certainly be the main danger man when England kick off their Euro 2012 campaign against France on June 11.

However, the emergence of Montpellier striker Olivier Giroud (40/1), who has 21 Ligue 1 goals to his name this season, and is set to finish 2011-12 top of the scoring charts with his side one game away from their first domestic title success, could prove the perfect foil for Benzema. Expect Giroud to be equally exciting in front of goal.

Fernando Llorente / Fernando Torres (Spain): 16/1

With doubts over the fitness of David Villa, the Spanish will turn to Llorente and Torres to fire them to victory in Poland and Ukraine this summer.

A couple of months ago, the Chelsea striker's inclusion in Vicente del Bosque's squad would have been laughable, but after he followed up his Champions League semi-final goal against Barcelona with a Premier League hat-trick in the 6-1 thrashing of QPR, there are signs the 28-year-old may be getting back to his best.

Meanwhile, Llorente has been in scintillating form for Athletic Bilbao with 28 goals this season. He particularly impressed in the Europa League, reportedly alerting the attention of a number of English clubs.

The 27-year-old will line up for Marcelo Bielsa's side in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, before heading off to Euro 2012, looking to carry his form into the tournament.

Mario Balotelli (Italy): 20/1

The Manchester City striker is as much of a liability as he is a prodigious talent. But, providing he can keep the fireworks in the goalscoring department, Italy's chances of a successful tournament will improve dramatically.

The 21-year-old is still relatively new to the international scene; he has scored one goal in seven appearances for Cesare Prandelli's side. However, Balotelli chipped in with 13 Premier League goals for City in their title winning campaign.

Roberto Mancini recently expressed his desire to see his enigmatic front man lead the line at Euro 2012, because he is the best striker that Italy have got.

AC Milan's Antonio Cassano (33/1) netted six goals to help the Italian's qualify for Poland and Ukraine this summer, but after suffering a stroke earlier this season, there remain question marks over his fitness.

Wayne Rooney (England): 25/1

The Manchester United striker will miss the first two games for England at Euro 2012 this summer due to suspension, and if things go bad for Roy Hodgson's Three Lions side, Rooney could conceivably travel to Poland and Ukraine to play in just one match. But, that doesn't mean the 26-year-old should be ruled out completely.

A prolific season at Old Trafford delivered a return of 27 Premier League goals, as well as two in the Champions League before Sir Alex Ferguson's men were dumped out of Europe at the group stages.

Rooney is also by far and away England's best player, perhaps the only world class individual in the prime of his career. With 28 goals in 73 international appearances, he has been unpredictable when pulling on the national team shirt. However, if the Three Lions beat the odds and perform well this summer, don't bet against the United hitman to be at the forefront of proceedings.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Robin Van Persie

Article Comments

Read more

Report author of article

Please let us know if you believe this article is in violation of our editorial policy, please only report articles for one of the following reasons.

Report author


This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Want more content like this?

Like our GiveMeSport Facebook Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to Facebook, don't ask me again

Follow GiveMeSport on Twitter and you will get this directly to you.

Already Following, don't ask me again

Like our GiveMeSport Page and you will get this directly to you.

Already Subscribed to G+, don't ask me again