I found an old post I wrote back in 2008 for the European Championships on the top goalscorer and have updated it slightly as it’s a market I always like to dabble in. Let’s look at past winners of this
Year – player – country – goals (team finishing position)
2010 – Thomas Mueller – Germany 5 (4th) (4 way tie)
2010 – David Villa – Spain – 5 (Won) (4 way tie)
2010 – Wesley Sneijder – Netherlands – 5 (RU) (4 way tie)
2010 – Diego Forlan – Uruguay – 5 (3rd) (4 way tie)
2006 – Miroslav Klose – Germany – 5 (3rd)
2002 – Ronaldo – Brazil – 8 (Won)
1998 – Davor Suker – Croatia – 6 (3rd)
1994 – Hristo Stoichkov – Bulgaria – 6 (4th) (2 way tie)
1994 – Oleg Salenko – Russia – 6 (knocked out in quarter finals) (2 way tie)
1990 – Salvatore Schillaci – Italy – 6 (3rd)
1986 – Gary Lineker – England – 6 (knocked out in quarter finals)
1982 – Paulo Rossi – Italy – 6 (Won)
Interestingly there are 13 players in this list and just 2 of them are not Europeans. It looks like your team needs to get to the last 4 for you to have a chance to win this award and that makes sense as you get to play an extra two matches if you get that far as you have the final or the 3rd/4th playoff. Let’s take a look at the season the winners were coming off and who they played for.
Year – player – current team (country) – league goals in season
2010 – Thomas Mueller – Bayern Munich (Germany) – 13 goals
2010 – David Villa – Spain – Valencia (Spain) – 21 goals
2010 – Wesley Sneijder – Inter Milan (Italy) – 4 goals
2010 – Diego Forlan – Atletico Madrid (Spain) – 18 goals
2006 – Miroslav Klose – Werder Bremen (Germany) – 25 goals
2002 – Ronaldo – Brazil – Inter Milan (Italy) – 7 goals in 10 appearances
1998 – Davor Suker – Real Madrid (Spain) – 10 goals
1994 – Hristo Stoichkov – Barcelona (Spain) – 16 goals
1994 – Oleg Salenko – Logrones (Spain) – 16 goals
1990 – Salvatore Schillaci – Juventus (Italy) – 15 goals
1986 – Gary Lineker – Everton (England) – 30 goals
1982 – Paulo Rossi – Juventus (Italy) – 1 goal (banned due to betting scandal)
No surprise that most of the players come from the big 4 leagues but it shows you don’t need to only be looking at 20 goal strikers. A couple of the players had big seasons before the World Cup but most scored 18 goals or less. Sneijder last time round was a freak as he only got 4 goals the season before. Sneijder and Mueller are the only players in the whole list who are not true forwards but both played just behind the main striker and both only managed 5 goals. There are no wingers in there
If we look at the markets then Neymar heads it and probably is good value is the team is based a lot around him and he gets to play in his favoured position on the left. Argentina have 3 of the top 6 in the betting with Messi, Higuain and Aguero which just makes me suspicious there might not be enough goals to share around. They do have the ability to give some teams a right pasting but if it is going to be as hot as people say it is then attacking wave after wave and building momentum will be very difficult. Also they could easily win their first 2 matches and then rest players.
In qualification, stats shown here, you can see that Chile and Uruguay let in the most goals, but no teams really let in loads of goals and nearly all teams are now capable of defending very deep and limiting the score.
Edin Dzeko (66/1) is interesting and he goes against some of the points I have mentioned above but I could see him getting a few goals in the group and he could emerge from that with 3 or 4 goals.
Robin Van Persie (33/1) is the main striker for Holland and has the underrated Robben supporting very close by. Robben has been stunning for a number of years now and really deserves a bit more credit as he is up in that bracket with the best. Can see Robben winning a penalty or two at some stage and that will mean goals for RVP if he plays.
Daniel Sturridge (66/1) I quite like as well as he comes off the back of a big season and looks like he will have Rooney supporting him. Englnd hopefully will make it to the quarter finals and then if they are lucky might make the semis.
For France I put some money on Griezmann at a very big price but he needs to start the first game really or get a decent run as a sub. He’ll score more than Giroud if he does.