Players who can win the Golden Boot at Euro 2024

Friday marks the start of Euro 2024 and there are many strong and evenly matched teams in this Euro championship, and while one only can guess who the champions will be, we will instead here speculate on who will become the tournament's top scorer.

The last Euro, which many call the "Corona Euro", was played in 2021 instead of 2020 due to the pandemic. Italy emerged as the champions after defeating England in the final at Wembley, but the top scorers were found in other teams. Cristiano Ronaldo and Czech Republic's Patrik Schick each scored 5 goals, earning them the Golden Boot title of the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo - Golden Boot title defender and one of the top contenders

Top Candidates This Euro

We begin by looking at the players with the best chances of winning the Golden Boot. While we list five, the top two are the most likely to claim the title in the end.

1. Harry Kane, England

Odds of being the top scorer: around 6 to 6.5 times the money
Ranked first with the greatest chance of winning the top scorer title we have England's Harry Kane. England has a very strong team on paper; they played in the final three years ago and look even stronger this Euro. They have a relatively easy group with Slovenia, Denmark, and Serbia, and England usually starts tournaments strong, which bodes well for many goals in the group stage.

Kane has been scoring consistently for Bayern Munich this season, easily winning the Bundesliga's Golden Boot, so his form is excellent. He is already England's all-time top scorer with 63 goals and will certainly enlarge his lead further in this Euro.

2. Kylian Mbappé, France

Odds of being the top scorer: around 5.5 to 6 times the money
Most bookmakers have Mbappé as a slight favourite over Kane as the top scorer, and it's not hard to see why. Kylian Mbappé guarantees goals-he has six consecutive top scorer titles in Ligue 1, won the Golden Boot in the World Cup two years ago (including scoring a hat-trick in the final), and despite being only 25 years old, he has already scored 47 goals for the national team.
So why tip Kane over Mbappé? Choosing between them is almost a toss-up; it's nearly impossible to predict who will do better. However, France has a much tougher group than England with the Netherlands, Poland, and Austria, making it harder for them to score many goals in the group stage. That said, when France gets into their groove, they score lots of goals against any team, so we might be wrong in our assessment here, time will tell.

3. Romelu Lukaku, Belgium

Odds of being the top scorer: around 17 to 19 times the money
It feels like Romelu Lukaku has been around forever, but he's still "only" 31 years old. With 83 international goals, he is Belgium's all-time top scorer. Although he sometimes struggles to fully perform at club level, he is always a reliable scorer when he wears the national team jersey.

What speaks in favour of Lukaku scoring many goals in this Euro is his good form at Roma this season (13 league goals, 7 in the Europa League), Belgium's very easy group (Romania, Slovakia, and Ukraine), and the team being somewhat underrated. Many claim that Belgium has missed their chances with their golden generation, but they still have a solid team. This time, they can enter a tournament with lower expectations and thus less pressure. If Kevin De Bruyne stays healthy and players like Jeremy Doku, Loïs Openda, Leandro Trossard, and Lukaku perform, they could be a force to reckon with in this tournament.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo, Portugal

Odds of being the top scorer: around 13 to 15 times the money
The fourth on our list hardly needs an introduction. With his 128 international goals, he is by far the highest-scoring player in the world, not just in Portugal but globally. He is also the reigning top scorer of the Euros and won the Saudi Professional League Golden Boot scoring 35 goals this season.

So, what speaks against Cristiano Ronaldo then? Quite a bit if we are to be negative. He is now 39 years old, and although still incredibly fit, age eventually takes its toll, no matter how much one trains. Winning the Golden Boot in Saudi Arabia doesn't say that much since it's comparable at best to a weak European league spiced up with a few stars. Moreover, Portugal has a very strong team this Euro, which is both good and bad for Ronaldo. He is not automatically a starter anymore due to the competition within the team. However, if Ronaldo performs, he will likely start match after match, take penalties, and probably score one or two free-kick goals. If Portugal goes far, the goals could come quickly for him, which might be enough for him to defend his Golden Boot title.

5. Álvaro Morata, Spain

Odds of being the top scorer: around 25 to 35 times the money
Our fifth name is well-known but perhaps surprising to rank so high. Álvaro Morata is a player who many say has turned missing goal opportunities into an art, at least according to Spaniards. And yes, Morata is very good at missing chances, but he is also extremely good at creating them.

Our speculation here is that if Morata just gets a tournament with a bit of luck on his side, combined with Spain having a good Euro with their young squad, he can score many goals. Moreover, Morata's reputation as a poor scorer is not entirely fair; he has scored 34 international goals and has an average of 0.47 goals per match in the national team, which is truly not bad.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia
Aleksandar Mitrovic - one of the outsiders

Fun Outsiders - who can challenge?

Big tournaments introduce us to new players who hit a sudden form peak, like Czech Republic's Patrik Schick in the last Euro, who shared the top scorer title with Ronaldo. Here are some fun outsiders who could surprise us with many goals in this tournament.

Artem Dovbyk, Ukraine

Forward Artem Dovbyk has become the long-awaited heir to Andriy Shevchenko for Ukraine. In the 2022/2023 season, he won the top scorer title in Ukraine with 24 goals, and this season he did it again with 24 goals for his new club Girona, winning the top scorer title in La Liga.

It's always hard to predict how many goals a player from a smaller nation will score since it's tough to guess how far they will go in the tournament. But the fact is that Ukraine plays in a very manageable group and has a good chance of advancing from the group stage, and if they do, Dovbyk could score many goals.

Aleksandar Mitrovic, Serbia

Serbian Aleksandar Mitrovic is a true goal machine. He holds the record for the most goals in a single EFL Championship season with 43 goals in the 2021/2022 season, and he finished second in the Saudi league this season with 28 goals, 7 behind Cristiano Ronaldo. The season before, he scored 14 goals in the Premier League for Fulham, proving he can manage quite well at the highest level in world football.

Normally, a player with his goal-scoring record would be a strong candidate for the Golden Boot, but there are mainly two reasons he is only an outsider here. First, he has scored most of his goals in "lower" leagues; he has played in a top league only one season (though he did well then). Second, although Serbia has a strong squad on paper, they struggle to fully click as a team and likely won't go far this time either. But, I the stars align, expect many goals from Mitrovic.

Kai Havertz, Germany

As the host nation, Germany is one of the favourites to win, but a problem they have is that they simply don't have a Miroslav Klose anymore, so the question is who will score the goals? The Germans will undoubtedly score a lot of goals, but it's likely that the goals will be spread among the players. The one with the best chance to score the most goals for Germany is Kai Havertz, and that's why we include him here.

Havertz has excellent technique, and when he is in form, he reminds us of Eden Hazard at his best in Chelsea. He also showed significantly improved form at Arsenal towards the end of the season, as evidenced by 9 goals in the last 14 Premier League rounds. He is not an out-and-out goal scorer, but in the absence of such in the German team and lifted by the home crowd, Havertz could create magic this Euro.

Gianluca Scamacca, Italy

Italy is the reigning champion, but despite this, few are talking about Italy ahead of this Euro. The reason is that Italy feels quite devoid of standout profiles, but we must remember that this was also the opinion before the last Euro, yet everything clicked perfectly, and they went all the way.

So, if Italy were to go far despite their "profile-less" team in this Euro as well, who will score the goals? There are essentially two candidates: Atalanta's Gianluca Scamacca and Napoli's Giacomo Raspadori. Just in case Italy surprises again, we include the former here among our outsiders. Scamacca has this season approached the goal-scoring form he had at Sassuolo in the 2021/2022 season, especially showing his true self towards the end of the season. This is a player coming into the Euro in fine form and can lead Italy towards another final.

Cody Gakpo, Netherlands

At Liverpool, Cody Gakpo may not be known as the great goal scorer, partly because he has a slightly different role there. In the Dutch national team, he is one of their most dangerous offensive weapons, along with Memphis Depay. The Dutch are hard to assess, but they have a lot of talent in the squad and players who are good enough to make the team dangerous for everyone when they get their game right. If this happens in this tournament, Cody Gakpo will likely be responsible for most of their goals.

Michael Gregoritsch, Austria

Michael who? Yes, Michael Gregoritsch might not be the biggest name on this list, but the 30-year-old Austrian has shown fine goal-scoring form for the national team, and Austria feels stronger than it has in a long time, even though the absence of the injured David Alaba will be felt. In the qualifiers, Gregoritsch scored 5 goals and made 3 assists, and in a team that can surprise in the Euro, many goals could come from his head and feet. We see Gregoritsch as a fun outsider, a Patrik Schick 2024, if you will.

Phil Foden
Phil Foden - a potential candidate if Harry Kane fails

Other top team players

The players listed above are natural favourites in this context, but there are also more players in the favourite teams who can score many goals, and we take a closer look at them here.

Kane is naturally the player expected to score the most goals for England, but there are a few other players in the team who could score many goals. The three most obvious are Jude Bellingham, Bukayo Saka, and Phil Foden. All these young players have scored plenty of goals for their club teams this season and are fairly certain starting players. Additionally, there are Ollie Watkins and Ivan Toney in the squad, but even though both are sharp strikers, they are unlikely to start many matches due to the stiff competition in the team.

Alongside Mbappé, France has two very goal-dangerous offensive complements in Olivier Giroud and Antoine Griezmann. Both of these veteran players are expected to start and will surely score, but the risk is that they primarily will be assisting Mbappé goals.

It is not entirely certain that Ronaldo will be a starter for Portugal, at least not in all matches, but they have several sharp options up front who can all score many goals. Moreover, Portugal is a team that can win with big numbers when everything clicks. Rafael Leão, João Félix, Diogo Jota, Goncalo Ramos, and Bernardo Silva are all fantastic offensive players that most teams would love to have, and all of these can potentially score many goals.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Georgia
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia - probably not a Golden Boot contender this time

Other big names who likely are not contenders

Of course, there are also several big player names in the tournament who will still find it hard to win the Golden Boot, mainly because they play in smaller national teams that won't make it far. Here are some of the players considered great goal scorers that we do not believe will have any role in the top scorer race.

Robert Lewandowski, Poland

The biggest name not mentioned above is naturally Robert Lewandowski. The reason we do not think much of his chances here is that he doesn't seem as sharp anymore since his move to Barcelona, he is getting a bit old (35 years), and on top of that, Poland always struggles in championships.

Rasmus Højlund, Denmark

21-year-old Rasmus Højlund is a player who could very well become one of the world's best strikers in the future, but he is not quite there yet. Additionally, it is doubtful if Denmark is good enough to go far in this Euro.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Georgia

Napoli's and Georgia's Khvicha Kvaratskhelia is an incredibly entertaining offensive player who is also a goal scorer, but he is far too alone in a fairly mediocre team. It is very hard to see Georgia advancing from the group, and at best, we might see a couple of goals from Georgia's biggest star.

Andrej Kramaric, Croatia

Croatia is always a team to be reckoned with, and Andrej Kramaric is their main striker. The Croatians have a very tough group with Spain and Italy but can still advance as they are very hard to beat. However, the problem is that they rarely score a lot of goals, so even if Kramaric becomes the team's top scorer, it's hard to see it being enough for a top position in the Golden Boot race.

Benjamin Sesko, Slovenia

Young Benjamin Sesko is the obvious star in Slovenia, and he showed excellent form at the end of the season by scoring in the last seven league matches for RB Leipzig in Bundesliga. However, the team is simply not good enough to make Sesko a contender here.

Patrik Schick, Czech Republic

We conclude with the reigning Golden Boot winner of the Euros, the Czech Republic's , who we think will have a hard time repeating the previous Euro's feat. He struggled with injuries at the beginning of the season but played more towards the end of Bayer Leverkusen's successful season, mostly as a substitute. Even though we are very fond of Schick, his form is not entirely there yet, and it's hard to see him succeeding in the same way two Euros in a row.
Kano Kluckfors speaks Thai but now lives in Stockholm, Sweden. Kano knows most things about the sport of football and likes to write about it. The number one team is Arsenal, a passion founded during the years he lived in London.