Four years ago, one Fernando Torres scored the fourth goal in the Euro 2012 final against Italy, thus cementing his place in the history books as the Golden Boot winner for that particular tournament. His winning total, you ask? A distinctly miserly three goals. Those watching at home may have taken inspiration from the fact that Torres – a fairly awful Chelsea reject at the time – managed to win such an accolade above the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, possibly thinking that they themselves had a chance of winning the next Golden Boot.
With the eventual top scorer of the Euros usually being an unexpected or widely underserving candidate, this year’s chart topper could be any one of the 480 outfield players set to grace France’s stadiums – but who are the best candidate’s for this year’s dark horse? We have selected five of the best options over the next couple of pages. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below, along with any other names that you believe should be thrown into the hat.
5. Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland) – 250/1
Whilst Will Grigg has been the main attraction of the Northern Irish squad thanks to a top 10 single in the charts, their chances of qualifying from a mediocre looking Group C rest firmly on the shoulders of Norwich City’s Kyle Lafferty.
Despite struggling to earn a place in the Canary’s side, resulting in loan spells at Birmingham City and Çaykur Rizespor, and a disappearance of goal-scoring form that had seen him become a cult hero at Rangers, the 28-year-old still shines bright on the international stage.
Seven goals saw him top the goal-scoring charts in Group F qualifying, joint-sixth overall in the whole of the preliminary Euro 2016 stages. With Norwich City now a Championship outfit, Lafferty will be keen to prove he’s worthy of a starting birth under Alex Neil – even if he doesn’t have the same flammability as Grigg.
4. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Iceland) – 200/1
The star man and main goal-scoring outlet for both club and country, Sigurdsson is certainly the star player to look out for in Group F – if you exclude a certain Cristiano Ronald0.
The Icelandic veteran finished the latest Premier League season with his best goal tally since his days in the Championship with Reading.
Still only 26 and approaching the prime of his career, Sigurdsson is a sure bet to at some point score a penalty, free kick or long range screamer in Paris, especially against some of the sides making up what appears to be the weakest group in the competition.