Sunday's final is not just about deciding the champions of Europe, as Al Hain-Cole expects the Kiev showpiece to be the moment Italy's livewire arrives on the international sceneAll good things must come to an end, and so it is with Euro 2012. The tournament has brought us some exceptional football, and is set to culminate in a fitting finale between Spain and Italy.
However, it’s not just the trophy at stake, as the tournament’s Golden Boot is still very much up for grabs.
As we stand, five players sit top of the goal charts with three goals apiece, but four of those players have already said goodbye to Poland and Ukraine.
Alan Dzagoev, Mario Gomez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Mario Mandzukic are still in with a shout of sharing the spoils, and you can get odds of 8/1 (9.00) with William Hill on each of that quartet picking up the accolades despite having already suffered elimination with their country.
If they all finish level after the final, dead heat rules would apply and the winnings would be split between those on the most goals, as it did in the World Cup two years ago.
Joining them on three goals is Mario Balotelli, who has a great opportunity to take the lead in the goalscorer stakes by getting on the scoresheet against Spain in Sunday’s final.
A golden boot at the European Championship would be a great way for Manchester City’s mercurial striker to announce himself on the international stage, and he is heavy favourite at 5/4 (2.25) to hit those heights by bagging a goal against the holders.
Of course, Balotelli is not the only one with aspirations of becoming Europe’s top marksman, as there are a number of players with two goals to their name so far.
The much-maligned Fernando Torres managed to notch two goals against a below-par Irish side in the group stage, and the Chelsea striker is available at 9/1 (10.00) to hit the back of the net against Italy and become leading top scorer in the tournament.
Likewise, Spanish midfielder Xabi Alonso and 'false nine' Cesc Fabregas have two goals to their names, and are available at 25/1 (26.00) and 11/1 (12.00) respectively to usurp Balotelli and Co at the top of the goalscorer charts.
With Fabregas likely to be playing in his advanced attacking role, the Barcelona man is surely the best outside bet of donning the Golden Boot come the end of the tournament.
|Balotelli to win the golden boot at 5/4 (2.25) with William Hill
Fabregas to win the golden boot at 11/1 (12.00) with William Hill
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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.
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