Published on 14 June 2024 at 16:00

Euro 2024 is finally here; commencing today with hosts Germany looking to kickstart their tournament with a win against Scotland in Group A. Julian Naglesmann has faced scrutiny for his resistance to use a traditional number nine , instead relying on false nine Kai Havertz to shine at the tournament this summer. The rejuvenated Arsenal forward joins a list of players in contention for the golden boot at Euro 2024 alongside favourites Harry Kane and Kylian Mbappe as well as some emerging wildcards like Serbia's Dusan Vlahovic.


who are the favourites?


cristiano ronaldo:

The Portuguese striker is the leading all-time top scorer at the European Championships with 14 goals, as he heads to his record sixth tournament this summer. 

The 39 year old is no longer a guaranteed starter for the Selecao with Roberto Martinez preferring Diogo Jota or Goncalo Ramos, but his prolific goalscoring record and capability to deliver stardom makes him an integral player this summer. 

After missing friendlies against Finland and Croatia, he reminded his doubters who brandish him finished what he is capable of with a brace against the Republic of Ireland in Portugal's final pre-Euros warm-up game.

Even though, he is playing outside of Europe and has left the top echelons of competitive football he has continued his incredible goalscoring form finishing the Saudi Pro League season at Al Nassr with 50 goals in 51 appearances.

While, tactically he might no longer track back or sustain a press effectively like his younger counterparts his clinical edge in front of goal in big moments could be decisive in helping his nation to yet another final.

In what is most likely his last dance he will be intent on adding to his record-breaking 130 international goals!



Kylian mbappe:

Real Madrid's latest Galactico signing, Euro 2024 signals a new chapter for superstar Kylian Mbappe. His influence on Les Bleus continues to divide opinion on whether the team's reliance on him is a hindrance or advantage.

At Paris Saint Germain it became the Mbappe show, where he was the club's crown jewel but a move to Real Madrid who have a team of superstars could help to relieve the 25 year old of the burdening pressure to deliver which overwhelmed him in France.

The World Cup winner has scored 10 goals and has made eight assists in 12 games for France since the new year and finished the Ligue 1 season as the top goal scorer for the fifth consecutive season.

He is a world class talent who thrives on the biggest stages, taking the golden boot at the 2022 Qatar World Cup and this tournament looks like it will be no different.

His downfall has always been his attitude, at PSG his passion and drive was always questioned with onfield outbursts and spats and this is the worry for France at this tournament. The champions are always teams built on solid foundations with good team cohesion, its not just about having superstars.


harry kane:

The Three Lions all-time top goal scorer arrives at Euro 2024, after a record-breaking debut season in Germany with Bayern Munich scoring 36 goals in 32 Bundesliga matches.

England are over-reliant on the 30 year old for goals, which should be a concern. At the World Cup in Qatar he scored just two goals on England's journey to the Quarter-Finals and failed to score in the opening three group stage games.

That being said Kane is currently the best striker in the world and will be hungry to claim his second golden boot after winning his first at the World Cup in 2018.

Very few strikers have the instinctive finishing and sharpness in front of goal like Harry Kane and his goalscoring form at Euro 2024 will be decisive in how far England can go in the tournament.


romelu lukaku:

Qatar 2022 was a torrid tournament for the then on loan Inter Milan striker. Absent for the opening two group games due to a thigh injury, he battled to regain his fitness to make an impact for the Red Devils but only managed to feature for 45 minutes in Belgium's decisive final group game against Croatia with the 0-0 draw resulting in their exit from the tournament

He arrives at Euro 2024, with he eyes on redemption in Germany. Under new manager Domenico Tedesco he has scored 16 goals in 10 caps since 2024 topping the Euro qualifying scoring charts with 14 goals.

The Chelsea number nine just ended a prolific season on loan at AS Roma where he recorded his highest goals tally for three seasons scoring 21 goals.

Despite, often lacking the sharpness and composure in front on goal in comparison to the elite strikers such as Mbappe and Kane when he is fit he is one of the most difficult strikers to contain with his physicality and power.

With a prime Kevin De Bruyne supplying him upfront, it could be a very productive tournament for the 30 year old who will want to add to his incredible goal scoring record of scoring 1.35 goals per game for Belgium.

kai havertz:

Just one season ago the inclusion of Kai Havertz on this list would have been unthinkable, scoring just 19 goals in the Premier League during his three year stint at Chelsea.

Since his £65m move to Arsenal last summer, Mikel Arteta has re-invented the former Chelsea flop and unlocked a new goalscoring streak in the German who made 21 goal contributions this season in the league.

He has developed into one of Arteta's most integral players within his tactical system and his versatility has made him very popular with new Germany head coach Julian Naglesmann.

The 25 year old has never been consistent for his nation scoring 16 goals in 46 caps, but after being rejuvenated this season for his club he has the star-quality to surprise at this summer's Euros.

Many believe the home nation are dark horses at Euro 2024 and if they go far, it could potentially see the in form Arsenal centre forward becoming an unlikely golden boot winner.


dusan vlahovic:

Serbia are in Group C alongside tournament favourites England, Denmark and Slovenia, so its difficult to see if they will progress beyond the group stage.

They have a squad brimming with European pedigree such as Filip Kostic, former Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and ex-Fulham striker Aleksander Mitrovic.

It is Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic though who could be their key player this summer, the 24 year old scored 18 goals for his club in all competitions this season.

He is a powerful and physical number nine capable of holding up the ball, winning aerial duels and out-muscling defenders. Throughout his career he has demonstrated a clinical edge but is yet to perform to the same level on the international stage.

Serbia manager Dragan Stojkovic has given him the nod ahead of Al Hilal striker Mitrovic in the recent friendlies and this tournament is his chance to show potential suitors what he is capable of.


honourable mentions:

Memphis Depay

Gianluca Scamacca

Rasmus Hojlund

Alvaro Morata

Robert Lewandowski


Written by Lewis Eadie

Add comment


There are no comments yet.