With kick-off in the European championship just a day away, attention is heavily focused not just on who will win the tournament, but which player will lead the scoring charts.
Previous winners of the Golden Boot include the likes of David Villa, Milan Baros and Alan Shearer, while six players tied for the accolade on a measly three goals last time around.
Having been one of those six players, Cristiano Ronaldo is naturally among the frontrunners to win the prize in France, but he facies stiff competition. Check out the main contenders below…
THOMAS MULLER | GERMANY | 7/1
The Bayern Munich striker left much of the goalscoring burden to Robert Lewandowski at club level last season, but remains prolific for the national team. He has already led the scoring charts at a major tournament before, back at the 2010 World Cup, and is blessed with a host of world-class creators with Die Mannschaft.
Goals scored this season: 32
International goals throughout career: 32
CRISTIANO RONALDO | PORTUGAL | 8/1
The stand-out forward in European football, Ronaldo is looking to achieve something even arch rival Lionel Messi hasn’t managed – carry his team to glory in a major tournament. The Portuguese ace scored 51 goals in 48 appearances in all competitions for Real Madrid last season, and has been handed a very appetising group.
Games played this season (all comps): 48
Goals scored this season: 51
International goals throughout career: 56
ANTOINE GRIEZMANN | FRANCE | 9/1
The Atletico Madrid forward isn’t exactly prolific for Les Bleus, netting just seven goals in 27 caps, but he has developed into an incredibly deadly striker under the tutelage of Diego Simeone. He is expected to lead the line for Didier Deschamps’ national side, and the host nation have been handed a very favourable draw.
Goals scored this season: 54
International goals throughout career: 7
HARRY KANE | ENGLAND | 12/1
This time last year, it would scarcely have seemed possible that Kane would make the England squad for the European championship, let alone be a nailed on member of the starting XI. The Tottenham star, though, is the Premier League’s most dangerous striker, claiming the Golden Boot thanks to his 25-goal haul, and will be expected to lead the Three Lions’ charge.
Goals scored this season: 28
International goals throughout career: 5
ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI | POLAND | 16/1
Perhaps the best thoroughbred No.9 at Euro 2016, Lewandowski has been utterly merciless over the last few seasons. The Polish frontman led the scoring charts in the qualification process with 13 strikes, the joint-best tally of all time, as well as netting 42 goals in 51 games for Bayern Munich. If Poland can supply him, he’ll score plenty.
Goals scored this season: 42
International goals throughout career: 34
BEST OF THE REST
Although there are still some question marks over his suitability, Olivier Giroud (14/1) is likely to lead the line for France and is flanked by a wealth of creative options. Alvaro Morata (18/1) is expected to get the nod for Spain, though Nolito (33/1) has looked most dangerous in the pre-tournament warm-up matches. Romelu Lukaku (20/1) goes into Euro 2016 as dangerous dark horses Belgium’s most lethal finisher, while Mario Gomez (25/1) has rediscovered his scoring touch after a spell in Turkey and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (33/1) usually guarantees goals.
Source & Credits: Ewan Roberts