Despite their shock exit in the round of 16 at Euro 2020 – after losing 1-0 to Belgium in Seville – as things stand, Portugal are in line for one post-tournament award, and that is the Golden Boot.
Their talisman for some time now, Cristiano Ronaldo is leading the way with five goals, and remains the favourite in Euros Championship top scorer odds. But with their participation no more, and three rounds of matches left to play, can anyone surpass his goal tally?
Read on, as we take a look at the contenders who fancy their chances of winning the Golden Boot.
Patrik Schick (Czech Republic)
Schick has scored four goals so far at Euro 2020, and it’s worth noting, he is one of three players tied for second place - one goal away from levelling with Ronaldo.
However, the players he’s tied with are Karim Benzema (France) and Emil Forsberg (Sweden), who are no longer in the tournament, so he stands the greatest chance of usurping Ronaldo as Golden Boot winner. The Czechs may still be in the tournament against the odds, but Schick is in fine form and will be confident to adding to his tally in their upcoming quarter-final against Denmark.
The 25-year-old opened his account in the Czech’s first group game against Scotland – scoring a goal in each half. The first was a well-placed header from a corner, when he jumped higher than the two Scottish players he was sandwiched between. But his second is in line for being Goal of the Tournament – a strike from the halfway line and 50 yards, in fact, looping over David Marshall in the Scotland goal!
Schick also opened the scoring against Croatia in the group stages from the penalty spot – a match they went on to draw, but still progressed to the knockout stages. And he also scored the second as the Czechs beat the Netherlands in one of the shocks of Euro 2020 so far.
Romelu Lukaku (Belgium)
Next up we have Lukaku, who finished second to Ronaldo in the race for the Golden Boot in Serie A. Lukaku netted 24 times for Inter Milan last season, as they won their first league title for a decade, and his goalscoring prowess has continued on the international stage.
Lukaku has scored three times at the Euros, and is level with a number of players all seeking that individual accolade come the end of the tournament. While he didn’t score in Belgium’s round of 16 victory over Portugal, Lukaku scored a brace in the opening group game against Russia. And after firing a blank over Denmark, his late strike over Finland ensured the Red Devils not only topped the group, but won all three matches.
Raheem Sterling (England)
Pre-tournament, the focus was on England striker Harry Kane, but it’s his compatriot who’s earning all the headlines, and Sterling has been the Three Lions’ talisman of the Euros.
Like Lukaku, Sterling has scored three goals so far – and they don’t come more important than in the last-16. The Manchester City star opened the scoring at Wembley, after stabbing home from Luke Shaw’s cross – against old nemesis Germany.
The 26-year-old also scored England’s only goals in the group stages, which proved enough to send them through to the knockout rounds as winners of Group D. He scored the only goal in the opening match against Croatia, and also netted early on against the Czech Republic, as Gareth Southgate’s side held on to an important victory.