The Golden Boot is awarded to the top scorer in the European Championship finals. Betting on the top goal scorer is one of the most popular bets during the championships.
In 2012 there were six players tied on three goals at the conclusion of the tournament. Spain striker Fernando Torres scored his third goal during his side’s 4-0 win over Italy in the final. He was given the award because he had also made one assist and played only 189 minutes, 92 minutes less than his nearest rival, Mario Gomez of Germany.
The other players to score three times were Mario Balotelli of Italy, Alan Dzagoev of Russia, Mario Mandzukic of Croatia and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Torres was largely unconsidered by punters following a very poor season for Chelsea in the Premier League including a five-month goal drought.
Torres was the second consecutive Spanish player to win the Golden Boot following David Villa who scored 6 goals in 2008. Milan Baros of the Czech Republic was a surprise winner with five goals in 2004. The last English player to win the award was Alan Shearer with five goals in 1996 while the record is held by France’s Michel Platini with nine goals in 1984.
Guide to betting on Golden Boot / Top Goalscorer
If you are considering betting on the Golden Boot at Euro 2016, there are a few factors that you should take into account.
The first is the likely opposition when the draw is made for the group stages of the finals. With the finals in France expanded to 24 teams, there will more matches against weaker teams.
You may think that you have unearthed a great striker but if he plays for one of the outsiders, he may be eliminated at an early stage. With the increased number of games in 2016, the goal scoring tally is obviously going to be much higher. The deeper into the tournament your player’s team can go, the better his chances of accumulating a winning goal tally.
You should also compare his club form with his International form. Some strikers are asked to play a different role on International duty and this may not necessarily be conducive to scoring lots of goals. It is worth remembering that the winner of the Golden Boot has played in the final of eleven of the last fourteen European championships.
Thomas Muller 7-1
Germany’s Thomas Muller was the leading striker from Europe in the World Cup, scoring five times for the champions. His side’s form immediately after the World Cup took a bit of a nosedive and Muller will be under pressure to maintain his spot as centre-forward.
Team-mate Andre Schurrle scored three times in Brazil but was largely used as a substitute. He is employed in a similar role for his club and is regarded more as a winger than a natural striker. Muller’s record for his country is impressive and he can be expected to be leading the German attack in Euro 2016.
Cristiano Ronaldo 11-1
Portugal have been touted as likely outsiders in the past but failed to deliver. They have an excellent chance of getting through the group stages this time and Cristiano Ronaldo could finally get his chance to shine in a major competition.
The Real Madrid star led Portugal to the semi-finals in 2012 where he finished joint top scorer. He is now the leading scorer of all-time in the European Championship and it is no surprise that he is among the favourites for the Golden Boot.
Karim Benzema 12-1
France’s Karim Benzema scored three times in Brazil and is expected to lead the attack in preference to Olivier Giroud. With the French side improving steadily under Didier Deschamps, Benzema is in a strong position to make a challenge for the Golden Boot.
Hosting a tournament can be a big advantage, not least because the team qualify automatically for the finals. The bookmakers have already anticipated France making a very strong bid for the Cup and they have been handed an excellent draw.
Robert Lewandowski 16-1
Poland will rely heavily on Captain and leading striker Robert Lewandowski in France. He has been playing in Germany since 2010, first for Borussia Dortmund and now for Bayern Munich. He reached 100 goals in the Bundesliga quicker than any other overseas player.
Lewandowski is currently fifth in the all-time goal scorer list for his country and has over 70 International caps. He is capable of scoring against any opposition and is probably at his peak at the age of 27.
Romelu Lukaku 20-1
Everton striker Romelu Lukaku will be on the short-list for followers of the Premier League following a terrific run of form for his club this season. The former Chelsea player has often been compared to Didier Drogba, his boyhood idol.
Lukaku is likely to be in competition with Liverpool’s Christian Benteke to lead the attack for Belgium. They have been drawn alongside Italy, Sweden and Republic Of Ireland in Group E but are expected to make it through to the last sixteen.