Major tournaments are often won by teams who play as a collective unit and possess quality at both ends of the pitch, but being presented with an opportunity to shine in a European Championship from an individual perspective is one that should be taken with both hands. Finishing a tournament as the top goalscorer is a fantastic achievement that all strikers would love to achieve at some stage in their career, and although the Golden Boot award takes away the contribution of other players who played a part in setting up the goals, it represents a clinical striker on top of his game. Bookies.com have compiled a list of players who have the quality to fire their team to glory at Euro 2016, and although there is every possibility that another striker grabs the headlines via a wonderful purple patch in form that sets the tournament alight, the following candidates stand as good a chance as any to be in the running.
Very few strikers have made the same rise to prominence as Harry Kane in the last two years, with the Tottenham and England player eyeing up Euro 2016 as the perfect opportunity to show the whole of Europe what he can do. The 22-year-old has certainly proved that he is not a one-season wonder, as Kane finished the Premier League season as top goalscorer with 25 goals to his name as he fired Tottenham within touching distance of the title. It adds to the 21 goals he scored last season as Kane transformed from a bit-part player who may have faced a future away from White Hart Lane to a leading marksman for club and country.
England are ranked amongst the darkhoses to go all the way at Euro 2016, and although it remains to be seen what formation and players Hodgson elects to field throughout the tournament, Kane will undoubtedly play a starring role. While his Football Manager 2016 statistics reflect that Kane is not blessed with electric pace (Acceleration 13, Pace 11) that enables him to run clear from defences, it is his positional sense (15) and strength (14) which provide the core essentials for any efficient number nine. His superb finish for England against Germany in their recent friendly belied his finishing and composure statistics (both 15), while Kane is not shy to shoot from distance (also 15) as he certainly packs a punch with his right foot. Additionally, Kane possesses the perfect qualities that any target man should have – the ability to head a ball (16) and be a real threat in the air (Jumping Reach 15). England are certainly blessed to have a striker with so many top attributes at such a young age, and with Kane also in superb form, he could put him in contention to win the Golden Boot.
There can be no question that Robert Lewandowski is among the best strikers in world football, with the Bayern Munich and Poland star finding goals easy to come by. Not only did the 26-year-old finish the Bundesliga season as top goalscorer with thirty goals from just thirty-two appearances, but Lewandowski also topped the charts during his country’s qualification campaign for Euro 2016 with thirteen goals in ten games. It is proof, if needed, that Lewandowski is in prime form ahead of the European Championship, and although many do not expect Poland to reach the latter stages, it would certainly be worth considering taking up a free bets offer on https://bookies.com to back their number nine to pick up yet another goals-based accolade. Facing Germany, Ukraine and Northern Ireland in the group stages should provide Lewandowski with an opportunity to fill hit boots, with the striker likely to carry the weight of hope and expectation of an entire nation on his shoulders.
His Football Manager 2016 statistics merely confirms the fact that Lewandowski is one of the best all-rounded strikers on the planet, and at the age of 26, can only get better. Some would argue that his finishing stat of 16 is a tad too low for a player who has made a living from scoring goals of every type possible, although this is owed to fantastic technique (16), ice-cool composure in front of goal (14) and wonderful ability to keep his balance (20) when put under pressure from defenders. While his positioning (10) may leave a lot to be desired, Lewandowski is a real threat through movement off the ball (17) and making the right decisions (18) at the right time. The striker can also accelerate quickly off the mark (16) which may prove hugely effective against Poland’s group opponents who are not blessed with pace in defence, and if his team-mates can provide him with the service he thrives upon, then Lewandowski may prove impossible to stop.
If any player is able to carry their country single-handedly towards glory this summer, then Cristiano Ronaldo is surely that man. Scoring over fifty goals in six consecutive seasons is a phenomenal achievement that only he and Lionel Messi could make possible, and although ardent Football Manager players are unlikely to have seen such goal-scoring feats on their respective save files, Ronaldo will have to be at his mercurial best to lead Portugal towards the final at the Stade de France. Facing Iceland, Austria and Hungary in Group F may provide the 31-year-old with a considerable advantage over the other Euro 2016 Golden Boot contenders, as although all three should not be taken lightly by any means, they may struggle to keep Ronaldo quiet for ninety minutes.
Ronaldo has worked meticulously on every aspect of his game to become an all-rounded superstar that very few defences in world football can stop, particularly when he is firing on all cylinders. His Football Manager 2016 profile reflects just how good Ronaldo is, with finishing, long shots and pace all at 20 to make tight marking a necessity on the game. Even that can sometimes not be enough to stop the Portugal and Real Madrid star from wreaking havoc, with his movement off the ball (20) and anticipation of any loose pass or touch (19) meaning that Ronaldo is always a threat, even when he may not be enjoying the best of games. It often takes Ronaldo just one slight opening to create a moment of magic from out wide on the left where he loves to cut inside, but his superb ability to unerring soar in the air (Jumping Reach 17) and bullet a header past the opposition goalkeeper (Heading 19) also makes him so difficult to stop from deliveries into the box. Portugal may be taking a number of their next generation of talented players to France this summer, but it will inevitably be down to Ronaldo to lead from the front and fire his country towards what would be considered a shock Euro 2016 triumph.