They are the stars who write the headlines. The men who plunder hat-tricks or score the last minute winner, the rock stars of the beautiful game and they all have something in common; they desperately want to win the Euro 2020 Golden Boot.
The early Euro 2020 betting odds have Belgium, England, and France as the front-runners to lift the trophy in July and the tournament top scorer will likely come from a nation which goes deep into the competition, so that’s where I’m heading.
Romelu Lukaku – Belgium
The Golden generation of Belgium’s national team are still ranked number one in the world and are yet to win a World or European championship.
They have been close, finishing third in the 2018 World Cup but head coach Roberto Martinez knows that time could be running out for this crop of potential world beaters.
The Red Devils have one of the most feared strikers in world football at their spearhead in Lukaku. He is country’s all-time top scorer with 57 goals from 89 appearances, and at only 27 years of age the powerful forward still has a long way to go.
It’s been reported in the English press that Manchester City could be ready to swoop for the Red Devils’ prolific scorer and that would annoy Manchester United fans intensely after their club let the Belgian star go to Inter Milan, where he has impressed against some of the best defences in Europe.
Harry Kane – England
England’s hopes of winning a first major tournament since 1966 weigh heavily on the fitness of their captain and centre-forward Harry Kane.
The World Cup 2018 Golden Boot winner has suffered with injury again this season and Tottenham have struggled in his absence.
Twice Golden Boot winner in the Premier League, Kane is still in the hunt this season with 13 goals and just three behind leader Mohamed Salah.
Kane has also made 11 assists this season and is even ahead of Manchester City’s prolific provider Kevin De Bruyne, who is the man who will keep Lukaku well-supplied.
Kylian Mbappe – France
If I had to pick a player who will feature heavily in the Euro 2020 highlights package then PSG’s Mbappe would be at the top of my list.
The 2018 World Cup winners are well capable of going all the way again, and the 22-year-old Mbappe will light up the tournament as he did in Russia where he became the youngest player ever to score at a World Cup and the second teenager after Pele to score in a World Cup final.
With 66 goals from 68 appearances for PSG, Mbappe is ripping up Ligue 1 and his pace and brilliant ball control will give defenders nightmares at Euro 2020.
He’ll have to share the goals with Barca’s Antoine Griezmann but Mbappe is certainly one to watch.
Les Bleus have landed in Group F alongside Germany, Hungary, and holders Portugal and there they will meet another Golden Boot contender.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Portugal
He may be 36, but the five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo is still one of the best finishers on the planet.
He’s leading the race for this year’s Capocannoniere, scoring in Juventus’ 2-0 victory over Roma last week to make it 16 in Serie A for the season.
Lukaku is in a group of three on 14 goals alongside Zlatan Imbahimovic and Ciro Immobile – who could feature in the Euro 2020 Golden Boot race if Italy have a good competition.
He’s already scored 102 goals for his country but CR7 isn’t quite finished yet.
Robert Lewandowski – Poland
He’s the most prolific striker in European football, already plundering 24 league goals for FC Bayern, so there is no way I’m going to leave Lewandowski off my list!
We had the strangest of experiences in last weekend’s round of Bundesliga fixtures as in Bayern’s visit to Hertha Berlin, Lewandowski failed to score – missing a hatful of headers.
Defences around Europe know how rare that is, and if Poland can make the final four or even the last eight, then their go-to striker won’t be far away.
There’s lots to look forward to in summer. But before then, all five of these players have big expectations on their shoulders in their domestic leagues – chasing league titles and European places.
Here at SBOTOP, we’ll be following the action in Europe’s top leagues, and then it’s the greatly anticipated Euro 2020.
It seems a long time ago now when the news came through that it had been cancelled, but Europe’s flagship competition is now clearly in view.
Bring it on!
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