Euro 2016 Golden Boot Contenders

Euro 2016 has now reached the quarter-finals stages and the competition has produced goals galore. A number of players have produced impressive performances in front of goal in France and are contenders for the coveted golden boot award in France:

Here are the leading contenders to win the award:

Antoine Griezmann (France, 3 goals)

The Atletico Madrid forward headed into this tournament on home soil on the back of a stellar campaign in front of goal for Los Colchoneros. The striker opened his scoring tally coming off the bench in the 2-0 win over Albania in the group stages.

The 25-year-old then scored a brace in Le Bleus 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in the last-16 to book his countries place in the quarter-finals. Griezmann is not playing in the same central striking role he performs for Atletico, but rather plays on the right-flank.

The forward will be confident of adding to his goal tally in Les Bleus quarter-finals clash with surprise-package Iceland on Sunday, although the Nordic nation have proven themselves to be stubborn opposition in France.

Gareth Bale (Wales, 3 goals)

Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale was the star of the show in qualifying for the Dragons scoring seven times. He has continued that influential run in France, scoring in all three group games against Slovakia, England and Russia.

gareth bale

For good measure he also collected an assist for the winning goal last time out in the 1-0 last-16 victory over Northern Ireland. No doubt Bale is the star of the Welsh team and he will be looking to his goal tally in a difficult quarter-final clash with Belgium.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, 2 goals)

Bale’s teammate at club level Ronaldo has been frustrated at France so far, with his only goals of the tournament coming in the final group game against Hungary. Add a penalty miss against Austria into the mix and the 31-year-old has not endured a great tournament so far.

He was credited with an insist for Ricardo Quaresma’s 117 minute extra-time winner against Croatia in the last round, but only goals scored in normal time count towards the golden boot award.

However, Portugal faces Poland in highly tricky quarter-final clash. The Poles have kept three clean sheets from their four games at Euro 2016, so they will not be easy to break down.

Mario Gomez (Germany, 2 goals)

Fiorentina striker Mario Gomez was very much a last resort of a pick for Die Mannschaft boss Joachim Low and in fact started the campaign on the bench. However the experienced forward started in the 1-0 win over Northern Ireland, before scoring in the last-16 in a 3-0 defeat of Slovakia.

Gomez is not much-maligned as he is not easy on the eye, but he is a goal scorer and that is what Germany will need if they are to defeat Italy and make it to the last four of the competition.

Graziano Pelle (Italy, 2 goals)

Southampton striker Graziano Pelle has scored twice at Euro 2016, both of which have been goals to seal Azzurri wins. The first goal came in stoppage-time against Belgium in the opening game and the second came in the last-16 defeat of European champions Spain to seal a 2-0 win.

The former-Feyenoord has striker has only recently became a fixture in the Italian attack, but he will have to be at his best in the quarter-finals against Germany, as the world champions are yet to concede in the competition.

Romelu Lukaku (Belgium, 2 goals)

The highly-rated Everton striker has endured a frustrating campaign so far, scoring in just one of his four appearances in France. Both of his goals in France came in the 3-0 defeat of Republic of Ireland in the group stage.

The 23-year-old has missed a number of good opportunities and questions have been asked about whether he should be leading the line for Marc Wilmots’ team. He looks likely to keep his place in attack for that difficult quarter-final clash with Wales. The former-Chelsea striker will have to improve on his recent performances if he wishes to add to his goal tally in France.

Dmitri Payet (France, 2 goals)

The playmaker experienced a dream debut campaign with West Ham and took his excellent form into the European Championships, scoring in the opening games against Romania and Albania. He was rested against Switzerland from the start, but came off the bench to smash an effort against the bar.

He enjoyed a very rare quiet game in the win over Ireland. However the way he has played on home soil it seems unlikely that he will endure two frustrating games in a row. He will be confident of adding to his tally of two goals and one assist already on home soil.

Jakub Blaszczykowski (Poland, 2 goals)

The former-Dortmund winger has been at the heart of all Poland’s best attacking play. He scored the goal that earned his side a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in the last-16, which lead to a penalty kick victory and a place in the quarter-finals.

With high-profile teammate Robert Lewandowski under-par in France, Blaszczykowski seems to have taken up the teams attacking mantle. The Poles face Portugal in the quarter-finals, team that looked high suspect at the back the group stages. Blaszczykowski could be the man to punish any weaknesses in that Portuguese backline.

Nani (Portugal, 2 goals)

Fenerbahce winger Nani has endured a rather frustrating tournament with his country. The former-Manchester United star scored in his countries opening game against Iceland and also their last group game against Hungary that finished 3-3.

With all eyes on teammate Ronaldo, Nani could very well be the Portuguese side’s secret weapon. A very resilient Polish backline awaits Nani and Co. in the quarter-finals.

With the Poland backline focusing much of their attention on Ronaldo it means that Nani will have more space and room to operate. He seems like an outsider for the award and is highly unpredictable, but he cannot be written-off.

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