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.
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.
Euro 2016 produced two big upsets in the round of 16, as Italy defeated European champions Spain, while Iceland recorded a famous win over England.
Italy headed into their last-16 clash with European champions Spain as underdogs, but pulled-off a 2-0 win over La Roja. Italy were the first to show any attacking threat on eight minutes, as David de Gea saved a powerful header from Southampton forward Graziano Pelle.
The Azzurri were on control of the early exchanges with Emanuele Giaccherini hitting the post, only to for the officials to rule the Sunderland had produced a high boot. Despite the Italian domination early on Spain had an opportunity to take the lead on 20 minutes.
Nolito found Chelsea’s Cesc Fabregas on the edge of the Italy area and the midfielder fired a low effort towards goal, only for Giorgio Chiellini to block the shot. Italy reasserted themselves, as Marco Parolo missed the target from a Mattia De Sciglio cross.
De Sciglio was again involved on 26 minutes, as another cross was sliced just wide of his own goal by Spanish defender Sergio Ramos.
Italy did take the lead on 33 minutes. De Gea was called into action once again to keep out a well-hit free-kick from Eder, but Emanuele Giaccherini was first to the rebound and poked the ball to Chiellini who could not miss from close-range.
Just before half-time De Gea produced a fantastic save to keep out Giaccherini and the European champions went in at the break just one goal down.
La Roja had a superb chance to equalise earlier in the second half, as Real Madrid forward Alvaro Morata headed an effort straight at Gianluigi Buffon in the Italy goal. Italy came close to doubling their lead on 56 minutes though, as De Gea produced a good save from Eder, following a good touch from Pelle.
Spain then searched desperately for an equaliser with substitute Aritz Aduriz firing wide of goal. Veteran Italian ‘keeper Buffon produced two food saves to keep out long-distance effort from Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique.
As the game approached stoppage-time Buffon pulled-off his best save of the game. Barcelona defender centre-back Gerard Pique struck a volley towards goal and Buffon produced a superb stop to keep the effort out.
Italy wrapped up their place in the last eight in stoppage-time. The Azzurri hit Spain on the counter-attack and Pelle was there from a couple yards out to score his second goal of the tournament.
The Azzurri now face a quarter-final clash with Germany on Saturday in Bordeaux, as Antonio Conte’s underrated side look to topple another European giant at Euro 2016.
The other game of the day produced one of the biggest shocks in the recent history of the competition, as minnows Iceland defeated England 2-1 in Nice.
England starter the brighter of the two teams and were awarded a penalty kick on four minutes. Winger Raheem Sterling was found with a ball over the top of the defence and Icelandic ‘keeper Halldorsson came out and up-ended the Manchester City man.
England captain Wayne Rooney stepped-up and made no mistake from the spot to give the Three Lions the perfect start. The lead did not last long though, as the Nordic side were back on level terms on six minutes.
Aron Gunnarsson’s long throw was flicked on by defender Kari Arnason and Ragnar Sigurdsson was there to prod home from close-range. Iceland were in front on 18 minutes.
A good team move lead to the ball falling to Kolbeinn Sigthorsson on the edge of the area and the Nantes striker hit a rather tame effort towards goal, but somehow it squirmed under the hands of Joe Hart.
England continued to dominate the game without creating many clear-cut chances. Halldorsson saved a Harry Kane effort and Chris Smalling headed over the bar at the far post.
Roy Hodgson attempted to change things with the introduction of Jack Wilshere and Jamie Vardy in the second half. However, it was Iceland that came closest to finding the net, as Hart did well to deny Ragnar Sigurdsson a second goal from a bicycle-kick from close-range.
England midfielder Dele Alli fired over the bar from 12 yards, as Hodgson’s side desperately search for a way back into the game. On 79 minutes Kane headed straight at Halldorsson after a superb cross from Jack Wilshere.
Iceland came close to adding a third as Gunnarsson ran through on-goal, but his effort on goal was kept by Hart. Vardy came close to levelling the scores in stoppage-time, only for Arnason to divert the striker’s header just wide of goal.
Iceland were never overly worried and held on to secure a famous win and a place in meeting with hosts France in the quarter-finals on Sunday in Paris.
England exit the Euro 2016 Championships in what can only be describes as an abysmal performance against minnows of the tournament, Iceland.
England 1 – Iceland 2
Iceland, the smallest team in the tournament, and now giant killers, turned up the heat and put pre-match favourites England on ice with a detailed game both in attach and defence.
After only 3 minutes and with England piling on the pressure, Goalkeeper Hannes Thor Halldorsson comes too far out the box and concedes a penalty. Wayne Rooney' takes it and nets his 53rd goal for England putting them into the lead early on in the game, silencing the Icelandic fans.
However it only took a further two minutes for Ragnar Sigurdsson to equalise from a throw-in set piece, opening up the game and making the English defence show its first signs of weakness. Hodgson raging on the sidelines as the Iceland fans burst back and raise the decibels.
It was the 18th minute that saw the third and last goal of this thriller as Kilbeinn Sigthorsson taps a low shot past Hart who gets a hand to the ball but fails to keep it out. Again the England defence showing holes and the Icelandic players are keen to capitalise.
From there on in, both teams had chances to score with opportunities missed at both ends of the pitch but in the end the Icelandic defending kept out any hint, and there weren't many, of an England breakthrough.
The last few minutes were nail biting as England pushed as hard as they could with a technically inept team, lacking experience, to try and clamber another goal but it wasn't to be. With some English fans chanting, “you're not fit to wear the shirt,” it's clear what they thought of their teams lack of footballing skills on the pitch tonight.
A terrible English football performance against an Icelandic team who are living the dream and it's Iceland against France in the quarter-finals. Congratulations to Iceland.
Shortly after the match Hodgson, gave a statement to the waiting media acknowledging the English teams poor performance in France and knowing that he was in line for a sacking, fell onto his sword and resigned as Manager of England after 4 years.
As part of his resignation speech and after thanking the coaching team, players and fans, Hodgson said, “I am sorry it will have to end this way but these things happen. I hope you will still be able to see an England team in a final of a major tournament soon.”