Gareth Bale became the first player to score three goals at Euro 2016 when he helped to fire Wales to a 3-0 victory over Russia on Monday night, and is among a list of star names who will hope to keep on adding to their tallies for as long as possible. But can Bale go on to finish as the top goalscorer at Euro 2016 or will a rival take the glory?
How the Bookies See it
- Top scorer: Alvaro Morata 9/2, Bale 4/1, Romelu Lukaku 15/2, Dimitri Payet 9/1, Thomas Muller 14/1, Cristiano Ronaldo 16/1, Jamie Vardy 16/1, Antoine Griezmann 16/1 - William Hill
- Winner/Top scorer double: Spain/Morata 11/1, Spain/Bale 22/1, France/Payet 25/1, France/Bale 28/1 - Sky Bet
- Bale moved clear at the top of the scoring charts with a nicely-taken third goal against Russia. He had previously scored free-kicks in the games against Slovakia and England.
- Morata, Lukaku and Payet are the only other players still in the tournament on two goals apiece.
- Portugal’s Ronaldo and Germany’s Muller are among the big-name players not to have scored in their opening two games.
In a tournament that has been low on goals, it could just be that scoring four or five goals will be enough to claim the Golden Boot. Nobody managed to bag more than three at the last event in 2012, which was admittedly a slightly smaller competition, but it does show that Bale is in a very strong position. As Wales topped their group and will now play a third-ranked team in the last 16, they must fancy their chances of playing at least two more matches. Bale was even more influential against Russia than he had been in his previous two fixtures and could well keep his run going in the last 16.
It is as much about the team as the player when predicting a top goalscorer, though, and Spain have looked the side to beat so far. Morata could easily have another four games to fill his boots when the knockout stages begin and has all the qualities to thrive on the service he is sure to receive. He may be the favourite at 5/1 with Paddy Power, but these are still very generous odds.
Belgium are potential opponents for Wales in the quarter-finals if both teams make it that far, which could mean a showdown between Bale and Lukaku. The Belgium forward returned to form against Republic of Ireland and will be a popular choice with many customers, as will Ronaldo despite his frustrations so far. Ronaldo’s freakish goalscoring form for Real Madrid has yet to be transferred to Euro 2016 and he missed a penalty in Portugal’s second match, but he is the sort of player who could quickly catch up and may tempt many at 16/1.
Jamie Vardy can be found at around 25/1 if you fancy backing an England player, while Daniel Sturridge is an even better price at 40/1 with William Hill. England have not shown much of a cutting edge so far, however, and the smart money may just be on Bale given his terrific form so far and Wales’ kind draw.
- Sports.net’s top tip: Gareth Bale as top goalscorer at Euro 2016 - 4/1 at William Hill
*Please note, odds are likely to fluctuate as the tournament progresses.