Many of the best forwards in the world will descend on England this month for Euro 2022.
Goals will capture the imagination like nothing else and there is potential for existing stars to reaffirm their status or new talents to make a name for themselves.
Top scorers in the past have included legends of the game like Pia Sundhage, Carolina Morace, Inka Grings and Lotta Schelin, while Jodie Taylor finished top of the pile five years ago at Euro 2017.
But who will walk away with the Golden Boot this time?
Tine De Caigny is Belgium’s best source of goals / DAVID CATRY/GettyImages
Belgium might not get very far in the tournament overall, but 25-year-old forward Tine De Caigny is their best chance of goals and has considerably accelerated her strike rate at international level since 2019.
She has gone a step up since joining Hoffenheim in 2021 and is a potential Golden Boot dark horse if she can get a few quick goals under her belt.
Cristiana Girelli has been prolific at club level for years / Tullio M. Puglia/GettyImages
Cristiana Girelli has been prolific at club level in Italy for the past 17 years and boasts a more than impressive international strike rate for Italy to boot.
The 32-year-old has experience of the Champions League for Juventus and will fancy her chances of finding the net readily against the weaker sides in Group D – Belgium and Iceland.
Pernille Harder may not play as Denmark’s main striker / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
Pernille Harder remains the most expensive female player in history following her 2020 transfer to Chelsea and has long been regarded as one of the best in the world.
The thing that counts against her compared to other world class names is just how challenging Denmark’s group will be, which could easily limit the number of games she plays in to just three.
Lea Schuller is more experienced than she was in 2019 / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages
Lea Schuller was a dark horse contender for the Golden Boot at the 2019 World Cup but didn’t have the breakout tournament many might have expected of her, often coming off the bench.
At 24, she is now arguably the lead forward and most likely source of goals in a largely young German squad. They aren’t being talked about in the same way as usual, but underestimate them at your peril.
All eyes will be on Alexia Putellas & Spain / Aitor Alcalde Colomer/GettyImages
Alexia Putellas has been an international player since 2013 but has never come into a tournament with this kind of expectation on her shoulders as a result of her and Spain’s relatively rapid rise to prominence.
The injury absence of Jenni Hermoso will force a shift in Spain’s goal burden. Putellas could be in prime position to take that on, despite sitting deeper on the pitch, although goals could also be shared around more.
Beth Mead could replace Ellen White as England’s main goal threat / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages
The time is coming for Ellen White to pass the baton as England’s main source of goals. She has scored 12 times in her last two major tournaments, including the Olympics for Great Britain, but is arguably no longer guaranteed to start every game like she once was.
Instead, Beth Mead could now rise to the fore. She was a fringe player at the World Cup in 2019 but has become a main star and is in fine form.
A defensively strong Sweden will look to Stina Blackstenius for goals / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
Stina Blackstenius has been scoring goals at major international tournaments since 2016 and really stepped things up last summer with five for Sweden at the Olympics.
She has been in good club form for Arsenal since moving to England in January and will have the opportunity to rack up some early goals here against the likes of Switzerland and Portugal.
Ada Hegerberg is back in international football / Visionhaus/GettyImages
The return of Ada Hegerberg from a self-enforced five-year absence from international football has single-handedly catapulted Norway into contention to go all the way at Euro 2022.
The 2018 Ballon d’Or winner showed during the club season she is back to her best after 20 months sidelined with injury and is likely to gobble up chances laid on by a stellar and infinitely creative support cast.
Marie-Antoinette Katoto is going to a major tournament for the first time / FRANCK FIFE/GettyImages
Marie-Antoinette Katoto was a shock omission from France’s World Cup squad on home soil three years ago, having scored 56 goals in the preceding two seasons for PSG. Now, she has scored 137 in the last five.
France have made a bit of a break from the past by not selecting veteran forward Eugenie Le Sommer, with Katoto now the leading name for a new generation of talent. She can change games on her own.
Vivianne Miedema was top scorer at last summer’s Olympics / Soccrates Images/GettyImages
On current form, Vivianne Miedema remains arguably the best European striker in women’s football. She was prolific again for Arsenal during the club season, even after sometimes occupying a deeper midfield role.
At international level, the Dutch star has scored 24 times in her last 20 appearances, which includes 10 goals in four games at the Olympics last summer – she will again have the chance to rack them up against weaker sides.
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