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Euro 2020 Top Goalscorer And Golden Boot Betting: What Is The Difference?

golden boot footballWho will score the most goal has been a big topic for speculation before every major international tournament and on a number of occasions it has thrown up some surprises.  Will this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 to be similar?

Quite often, the Golden Boot winner at international tournaments depends on a lot of different factors and while it might appear easy to predict, there are variables and permutations that can influence this.

No doubt, there will be fans who are already thinking about placing bets and weighing up who to choose, having studied the form and the fixtures though there are a few important things that might be worth considering first.

Difference Between Golden Boot & Top Goalscorer

skillzy euro 2020 mascot on grass with ballFrom a betting perspective it is certainly important to be aware of the difference between these the golden boot and the top goalscorer market.

In 1994, when the USA hosted the World Cup, this was the last tournament in which there could be numerous ‘Golden Boot’ (top goalscorer) winners, because, after this, assists were incorporated to ascertain the difference.

From a betting perspective, you can stake money on the Golden Boot market, however, there is only one winner. In the event that there is a tie between a number of players, it is then worked out on assists and then if this is tied, it is the player who played the least minutes.  Therefore, you can bet on the Golden Boot and end up picking a player that ends up as joint top goalscorer but your bet doesn’t win.

For the top-goalscorer market, in the event of a tie you will win even if your player doesn’t win the golden boot. In this scenario dead-heat rules apply. This is where the amount that is paid out is governed by the odds being divided by the number of tied places. If you have an each-way bet and there is a tie for first or second place, the same rules apply here. It means the amount that you could have won when you placed the bet will be less if there is a tie for top-goalscorer.

The positive of betting on the Golden Boot winner over top-goalscorer is that if there is a tie for the position and your player wins the Golden Boot then you get paid out at full odds whereas dead heat rules are applied to the top goalscorer markets.

Generally, the odds for the Golden Boot market are better than the top goalscorer market, because this is deemed as being harder to win, especially if you do not envisage there being a tie.  Of course, if placing an each-way bet this can only be done on the top goalscorer market not the Golden Boot market.

In fact, 2012 is useful to point out the difference between top goalscorer and the Golden Boot.  Only Fernando Torres won the Golden Boot yet five players were tied for top goalscorer.

If you backed Fernando Torres as the Golden Boot winner you would have won at full odds but if you backed any of the other four you would have lost.  Conversely if you backed any of the four non-Golden Boot winners for top goalscorer you would have been paid out at one fifth the odds (odds divided by five due to dead heat rules).  If you backed Torres, however, via the top goalscorer market you would have also been paid out at 1/5 odds, a lot less than the Golden Boot market.

History of the Golden Boot

euro 1980 in italyDating as far back as 1960, the European Championship has thrown up a number of surprises and tantalising action over the decades and has borne witness to some great individual performances and goals.

What is also interesting is that some tournament Golden Boot winners have scored very few and others have scored a lot. Who can forget the impressive nine-goal haul from France’s Michael Platini in 1984?

The first-ever tournament Golden Boot winner; essentially top goalscorer at this point in time, was shared by no less than five different players. These included Francois Huette (France), Valentin Ivanov and Victor Ponedelnik (both Soviet Union), and Milan Galic and Drazan Jerkovic (both Yugoslavia), who all scored two goals each.

Two goals were also enough to win the top goalscorer award for the next two tournaments, which was shared in the following edition. In 1964, Ferenc Bene and Dezso Novak (Hungary), as well as Jesus Maria Pereda (Spain) took the joint mantle, while in 1968, Dragan Dzajic (Yugoslavia) finished with a brace of goals.

For the next three tournaments, West Germany dominated the individual top scorer awards, with Gerd Muller (1972 – four goals), Dieter Muller (1976 – four goals), and Klaus Allofs (1980 – three goals) all etching their names into the tournament record books.

Following Platini’s unprecedented performance in 1984, Marco van Basten burst onto the scene for the Netherlands in 1988 recording five goals, while in 1992 the accolade was shared by four players. Henrik Larsen (Denmark), Karl-Heinz Riedle (Germany), Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands), and Thomas Brolin (Sweden) all dispatched three times.

To date, Alan Shearer remains the only English player to have won the award, in 1996 when the hosts of the tournament reached the semi-finals as the former Southampton, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United striker recorded a five-goal haul.

At the turn of the new millennium, Savo Milosevic (Yugoslavia) and Patrick Kluivert (Netherlands) scored five goals apiece, while Milan Baros (Czech Republic) found the net on five occasions at Euro 2004.

When Spain won the tournament in 2008, their striker David Villa also scooped the award with four goals, while as many years later, Euro 2012 threw up a clutch of big names. Mario Mandzukic (Croatia), Mario Gomez (Germany), Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Alan Dzagoev (Russia), and Fernando Torres (Spain), all scored three each as Spain retained the trophy.

At Euro 2016, meanwhile, when Portugal won the tournament for the first time, the clear winner was Antoine Griezmann (France) with an impressive six goals.

Golden Boot Winners since 1996

Tournament Golden Boot Winner Country Number of Goals
Euro 1996 Alan Shearer England 5
Euro 2000 Patrick Kluivert & Savo Milošević# Netherlands & Serbia 5
Euro 2004 Milan Baros Czech Republic 5
Euro 2008 David Villa Spain 4
Euro 2012 Fernando Torres* Spain 3
Euro 2016 Antoine Griezmann France 6

# Golden Goal criteria not in place at this time, both tied for the award

* Tied on three goals with five players and tied with with Mario Gómez on goals and assists, Torres wins the golden boot thanks to playing less minutes than Gómez.

Limited To Strikers?

euro 2020 football hitting the back of the netAs you will have seen, throughout history, the leading goalscorers are mainly strikers, which makes sense when you consider that for many decades the 4-4-2 formation was more in vogue. However, over the last decade, 4-3-3 has become more popular and we have seen more and more midfielders and wingers challenge for the golden boot award.

Certainly, Griezmann at Euro 2016 could be considered as more of a winger and while a central striker will always have shorter odds to win, the trend of the wider attacker could well continue at Euro 2020, with many talents waiting in the wings.

For teams who possess players in a deeper role who can find pockets of space to rifle a shot, or indeed those who can score from long-range, we could well see a shock, however, these types of goals are generally very few and far between at international tournaments. Though, don’t rule it out!

Euro 2020 Golden Boot Candidates

With the next edition of the tournament being eagerly anticipated, there will no doubt be quite a few players who may stand out as favourites with punters to win the Golden Boot award, so let’s take a look at some of those who might be in with a chance.

Harry Kane (England)

Many people’s and bookmaker’s favourites to win the tournament, it could be a double success, if the 2020/2021 Premier League Golden Boot award winner (23 goals) continues his rich vein of form. It will all depend on the service that he gets, however, with England facing the Czech Republic, Croatia and Scotland in their group, this should mean that he is presented with a number of opportunities in front of goal.

Kane has unfinished business against Croatia after his disallowed goal at the 2018 World Cup prevented England from advancing to the final, while the game against Scotland at Wembley might have all of the hallmarks of the same match at Euro 1996 when fellow forwards Teddy Sheringham and [Alan] Shearer ran riot. If Kane is in the mood, he is certainly one to watch.

Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)

Coming off the back of a title-winning season with Inter Milan, the Belgian frontman will be full of confidence and having notched 24 league goals this campaign finishing second in the Serie A Golden Boot charts, will be looking to continue his fine form. Group games against Finland, Denmark and Russia should give him plenty of opportunities in a team that boasts assist-king Kevin De Bruyne.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

After winning the Serie A Golden Boot with 29 league goals, it is impossible to leave the 36-year-old sharp-shooter out. The captain can not only score from virtually anywhere, he also takes free-kicks and penalties and after hobbling off in the final when Portugal won the tournament five years ago, will be eager to show he can still cut it at the highest level.

Of the three group games, Hungary will likely present the best opportunity to rack up his tally, however, Germany and France are also susceptible.

Alexsandr Isak (Sweden)

Try this one on for size. Considered the heir apparent to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the next bright hope of Swedish football, the 21-year-old striker has just come off the back of a season in which he scored 17 goals in 34 league matches for Spanish side Real Sociedad. Boasting everything that a quality modern day striker needs in the game, do not be surprised if he is one player who bursts onto the international scene in style.

Slovakia, Poland and Spain will likely present him with a good amount chances in the group games, with him being more than capable of causing a couple of upsets.

Robert Lewandowski (Poland)

Up there with the best in the business, the Bayern Munich man has been consistently clinical at club level for the past six seasons and hit a staggering 41 league goals this season. Backed up by a good supporting cast in a talented Poland team that includes midfield maestro Piotr Zielinski (Napoli), expect chances aplenty.

Andrea Belotti (Italy)

Azzurri could well be one of the tournament’s “dark horses”, especially when you consider their group includes Wales, Turkey and Switzerland. While they will not be easy opponents, Italy are capable of beating them. Torino striker Belotti hit 13 league goals and registered seven assists for a side that finished 17th in Serie A this season and has attracted the attention of new Roma boss Jose Mourinho.

A striker that is just coming into his prime and has all of the attributes to step into the shoes of fellow Italian strikers Alessandro Del Piero and Christian Vieri.

Donyell Malen (Netherlands)

Considered to be the natural successor to Arjen Robben in Dutch football, he also hails from the same club side – PSV Eindhoven. The 22-year-old has registered 19 goals and eight assists in the Eredivisie this season and has a host of top European clubs courting him.

Euro 2020 provides the perfect stage for him to showcase his abilities and with group games against Austria, Ukraine, and North Macedonia, you feel there will be plenty of goal-scoring opportunities for a Dutch side that is sparkling with talent.

Ruslan Malinovskyi (Ukraine)

Arguably the standout player for his country, the Atalanta player is an all-action box-to-box midfielder with an eye for the spectacular. While the Netherlands will no doubt be favourites to top Group C, Ukraine have a great chance of progressing and Malinovskyi will be keen to impress and potentially earn a summer move to a big club.

Kasper Dolberg (Denmark)

The Nice striker is another name who has rolled off the production line at Ajax, though despite having an abundance of talent is yet to really fulfil his potential. Euro 2020 could present the perfect chance to show what he can do in front of goal and this could be the tournament where the 23-year-old shines if given the opportunity.

Timo Werner (Germany)

It hasn’t been the best debut season at Chelsea since the forward’s big-money move from Borussia Dortmund last summer, however, he will have something to prove to club boss Thomas Tuchel and Euro 2020 will represent the ideal platform. There is no doubt that he has all of the attributes to succeed at the highest level, though he will face stern tests against group opponents France and Portugal.

Kylian Mbappe (France)

Touted as one of the next players to step into the shoes of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to compete for future Ballon D’or awards, Mbappe is a key component in a France side that is littered with talent. The World Cup holders have a tough group though and the PSG attacker could be key to scoring the goals that Les Bleus need if they are going to justify their tag of tournament favourites by many bookmakers.

With Euro 2020 having a completely new format, that includes more teams and a round of 16, we could well see the Golden Boot award won by a greater amount of goals, due to the fact that there are more potential matches. Attacking football, in general, has become more popular in recent years as well, especially at club level, which might mean fans could be in for a goal glut this time round.

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