Women’s Euros Golden Boot leading candidates
The Women’s Euros is upon us, with England among the favourites for a home tournament.
It was an England striker who took home the Golden Boot at the previous championships in 2017, with Jodie Taylor finding the net five times to claim the individual honour. Taylor’s successor as England’s main striker, the Manchester City forward Ellen White, is among the favourites to win the Golden Boot – but who are some of the leading contenders for the prize?
Vivianne Miedema – Netherlands
Runner-up in the Golden Boot race to Taylor five years ago, Arsenal superstar Miedema is expected to be prolific again this summer. Arsenal have tended to use Miedema in a deeper role of late but she will lead the line for the Dutch. Miedema broke the Olympic record by smashing 10 goals in four games in Tokyo last summer so her quality in front of goal is not in doubt.
With the Netherlands seeking to defend their crown, much rests on the shoulders of Miedema who has so far managed 94 goals for her country, from 111 international appearances. There are questions about the Dutch defence, so Miedema’s goals will be even more important.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto – France
France have had a disrupted build up to the Euros with their coach Corrine Diacre unpopular with certain important players, yet Katoto is one who has thrived in the past couple of years.
Even though she is just 23, Katoto is already Paris Saint-Germain’s all-time top goalscorer and she has been similarly prolific since breaking into the international team as well. Katoto has hit 25 goals in 30 games for France and she has found the net six times for her country in 2022.
Having missed out on selection for the last World Cup, Katoto will be eager to make up for lost time. France were handed a relatively soft draw in the group stage, so Katoto could have a chance to make her mark. Diacre has left out both France’s all-time top goalscorer Eugenie Le Sommer and Lyon superstar Amandine Henry, so Katoto has lots of pressure on her to deliver.
Alexia Putellas – Spain
The outstanding player in the women’s game right now, Spain star Putellas holds a raft of individual awards including the Ballon d’Or Feminin heading into the tournament. Putellas has a modest record of 27 goals from her 100 international caps but she has hit four of them in 2022.
Putellas does not play as Spain’s main striker but there is more pressure on her to provide the goals this summer due to the absence of Jennifer Hermoso: the country’s record goalscorer is missing out on the Euros due to injury. Putellas hit 11 goals in the 2021-22 Champions League, so even if she plays in midfield as usual she remains a strong contender for the Golden Boot.
Ada Hegerberg – Norway
Hegerberg only recently returned to the international fold with the forward having stepped away for five years as a protest against the Norwegian Football Federation.
Norway are not widely expected to challenge for the title but Hegerberg, the winner of the inaugural Ballon d’Or Feminin, has the ability to turn her team into dark horses this summer.
Hegerberg scored in May’s Champions League final as Lyon beat Barcelona 3-1, a reminder to the world of her game-changing ability. That strike took her tally to 59 goals in the Champions League, with no female player having scored more than Hegerberg in the tournament.
Ellen White – England
If the Lionesses are to go all the way on home soil, White is likely to be leading the charge.
White’s preparations for the tournament have been affected by a bout of COVID-19 but it is thought she has recovered fully and will be ready to fire England’s bid for glory this summer.
At last year’s Olympics in Tokyo, White hit six goals for Team GB including a hat-trick against Australia, so she has plenty of experience when it comes to goalscoring at major events.
England’s all-time record goal scorer has hit 50 goals for the Lionesses and more are certain to follow for White at the Euros, where she will be cheered on by fervent home crowds.
Another contender for the Golden Boot in the England camp could be Beth Mead. The 27-year-old Arsenal star has hit three international hat-tricks within the last 12 months.