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Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Euro 2012: Gomez, RVP or Ronaldo: Who will win the Golden Boot?


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Arsenal's Robin Van Persie scored 37 goals in all competitions last season. Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez bagged 41 while Cristiano Ronaldo found the bag of the net an astonishing 60 times, but who will lift the coveted Golden Boot at Euro 2012?

Germany are one of the favourites to win the competition and Mario Gomez is 8/1 to etch his name in international football history. The 26-year-old ended the season without any silverware following Bayern Munich's Champions League penalty heartache against Chelsea. The former Stuggart man will be hoping to end the season on a real high.

Holland are currently third favourites for the trophy and that must be down to the goalscoring form of Robin Van Persie. The Arsenal man has been hitting the back of the net for fun this season. Whether it be free-kicks, volleys or headers, RVP knows where the goals are. You get can odds of 10/1 at Paddy Power for the Dutchman to be top scorer.

But then there's the one-man show of Cristiano Ronaldo. Portugal are in the Group of Death alongside Denmark, Germany and Holland and if Ronaldo is to play in the knockout stage he is going to have to hit the ground running. The former Manchester United ace finally got his hands on La Liga this season and will be full of confidence. Get Ronaldo within 30 yards of that goal and he will find the target eight times out of 10. But can his fellow countrymen help him through the group stage? Ronaldo is still 14/1 at Stan James.

Talking of Real Madrid, French striker Karim Benzema is next in the list. The former Lyon hitman scored 32 goals last season but has struggled for his country. Thirteen goals from 43 games is not exactly an earth-shattering return, but maybe this will be the tournament where he really comes to the fore. The Frenchman, who starts his campaign against England, is 16/1 with Bet365.

Joining Benzema at 16/1 are Fernando Llorente and Miroslav Klose. Llorente scored 29 goals last season for Atletico Bilbao while Klose always comes good in international competitions. The German, currently at Lazio, may be 33 and about to play in his last big tournament but he scored 16 times in 33 appearances last season.

Dutch striker Klass-Jan Huntelaar is 18/1 and he was in hot form for Schalke last season scoring 49 times. Could this be his year? With RVP alongside him, the 2010 losing World Cup Finalists could do something special.

Chelsea's Fernando Torres, who keeps showing signs of his former self, is 20/1 with BetFred. Having just added a Champions League winner's medal to his cabinet can the Spaniard end the season with a double?

The best priced Englishman is Wayne Rooney at 40/1. That would take some doing as the Manchester United marksman is suspended for the first two games and England historically never fare well in this tournament.

Liverpool's Andy Carroll is next at 50/1. The former Newcastle man has ended the season on fire and he should prove to be a handful for the opposition. New England boss Roy Hodgson must get the best out of him if the Three Lions are to make it out of the group stage.

There is so much attacking talent on show but the Golden Boot doesn't always end up with the favourites. Bulgaria's Hristo Stoichkov and Russia's Oleg Salenko shared the prize in the 1994 World Cup and Milan Baros clinched it for the Czech Republic in Euro 2004.

But who will your money be on to win the Golden Boot this summer?

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Colin Illingworth

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