From Milan Baros to Antoine Greizmann: The Last Four Winners of the European Championship Golden Boot
After leagues across Europe ended after an unusual 2020/21 season, all eyes are now on Euro 2020. The tournament will happen in different locations across the continent from June 10th to July 11th. Sports fans have had to switch their betting strategies to focus on the European Championship, which will see soccer superstars locking horns.
One of the things that the sports enthusiasts will be looking at is who are the favorites to win the tournament. Some commentators believe England has a perfect chance to lift the trophy for the first time. However, for that to happen, they will need their lead striker to be on top form. He will also be among the big names being touted to win the golden boot at the tournament.
The English captain goes into the tournament in top form after grabbing the EPL golden boot with 23 goals. He also had the most assists with 14 to his name, ahead of the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes.
As you watch the drama unfold at the European Championship, take a trip down memory lane and look at the last four Golden Boot winners at the tournament.
France were the favorite to win the tournament when they hosted it in 2016. Antoine Griezmann worked extra hard to ensure his team achieved that. The Barcelona forward, who was still playing for Atletico Madrid at that time, managed only one goal during the group stage. Nevertheless, France topped Group A.
Griezmann rediscovered his goal-scoring form during the knock-out stage. He bagged two goals against The Republic of Ireland in the round of 16 and found the back of the net again in the 5-2 thrashing of Iceland.
He later grabbed a brace against Germany to secure his nation’s place in the final. However, Portugal proved too much for him as they stunned the hosts to win the tournament in extra time.
Football fans did not see this coming as Torres had endured a horrible season at Chelsea before the 2012 Euros. He surprised many by winning the tournament’s Golden Boot with three goals.
Popularly known as El Nino, he scored two goals in the match against The Republic of Ireland. He then went through a dry spell until the finals. He scored on the 4-0 thrashing of Italy.
In Euro 2012, five other players also scored three goals, including Christian Ronaldo, Mario Gomez, Mario Balotelli, and finished the tournament with three goals. However, Torres was awarded the Golden Boot because of his assist for Juan Mata’s goal in the final.
Torres and David Villa formed a formidable front two to help Spain clinch the 2008 European Championship. Although Torres scored in the 1-0 victory over Germany in the Finals, it was David Villa who took home the Golden Boot.
David Villa scored a hat trick in the opening match against Russia and hit the back of the net again in the 2-1 win over Sweden. The striker grabbed all four goals during the group stages of the match. It remains to be known whether he would have increased his tally because he picked up a hamstring injury in the semi-final against Russia, which saw him miss the final.
Euro 2004 remains one of the most entertaining editions of the European Championship. Not many fans would have predicted that Greece would emerge winners. Moreover, the tournament was very entertaining as many matches were high-scoring thrillers.
Baros scored in Czech Republic’s wins over Latvia, Germany, and the Netherlands before grabbing a brace in their 3-0 quarter-final win over Denmark. At that time, Baros was one of Liverpool’s main strikers with a good reputation across Europe. Maybe he would have increased his tally if his country made it to the final. However, Greece ended their run in the semi-finals.
What about Euro 2020?
There seems to be fierce competition for this year’s European tournament. Many strikers who had a great season for their clubs are looking to continue their great form at the tournament.
Some of the big names being touted to win the golden boot include England striker Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku of Belgium, Christiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappe, and Robert Lewandowski. Other top players that cannot be wished away include Memphis Depay, Karim Benzema, and Manuel Locatelli.
So far, four players have already grabbed two goals and are effectively in the race for the Golden Boot. Christiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Patrik Schick, and Manuel Locatelli have already set the pace for the rest, having grabbed two goals each.
Soccer fans should brace themselves for an entertaining period as the tournament welcomes them back in the stadiums. Who do you think will grab this edition’s golden boot?