The Euro 2012 Golden Boot will go to Mario Gomez or Cristiano Ronaldo according to the latest odds
Despite sitting out the best part of Germany’s quarter-final victory over Greece, Mario Gomez (15/8 Top Goalscorer) is still well placed to claim the Euro 2012 Golden Boot.
German coach Joachim Loew surprised many with his decision to rest his first-choice strike trio of Gomez, Thomas Mueller and Lukas Podolski for the last-eight clash in Gdansk.
However, his decision was vindicated as young replacements Marco Reus and Andre Schurrle produced eye-catching performances, while Miroslav Klose continued his excellent goalscoring record at international level. The 4-2 scoreline flattered a poor Greece outfit and there was a sense Germany had plenty left in reserve.
Gomez should return in Thursday’s semi-final against either Italy or England and have the opportunity to pull clear in the race for the Golden Boot.
Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo (2/1 Betfred
) moved level with Gomez on three goals with the only goal of the game against the Czech Republic to set up a semi-final clash with holders Spain.
The Real Madrid star was disappointing in the opening two games of the tournament but came alive in the crucial final Group B match against the Netherlands and carried that form into the game in Warsaw.
The former Manchester United winger hit the post in each half before finally breaking the deadlock with a powerful header in the 80th minute as Portugal held on comfortably to dump the Czechs out of the competition.
Ronaldo would arguably be the favourite to top the goalscoring chart, but for the presence of Spain in Portugal’s half of the draw. Barring a major surprise, he will have only one more game to press his case for the accolade.
Spain have three men in the frame to claim the Golden Boot. Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres have scored twice, despite limited game time, while Xabi Alonso bagged a surprise brace in Spain’s comfortable 2-0 victory over France on Saturday.
Spain coach Vicente del Bosque again decided against playing a recognised striker in Donetsk, replacing Torres with midfielder Fabregas. It is difficult to know which way the boss will go in Wednesday’s semi-final.
In that respect, Alonso (25/1 Top Goalscorer) could represent Spain’s best hope for top scorer. The former Liverpool man is not one of his country’s most forward-thinking players but has an eye for a goal and possesses an excellent long-range shot. He represents a good outside bet.
Should Gomez and Ronaldo fail to find the net again in the championship, they would share the Golden Boot with Alan Dzagoev and Mario Mandzukic, whose countries failed to reach the knockout stage.
Players from England and Italy could yet threaten the current leaders, with Wayne Rooney (25/1 Top Goalscorer) and Mario Balotelli among those on one goal with potentially three games to play.
However, it would take a big effort to overtake Gomez and Ronaldo at this stage of the competition. Gomez has the edge given his goalscoring record and Germany’s impressive form, but you can never rule Ronaldo out.