April 25, 2024
Euro 2020: Top Six Strikers to Watch Out For

Euro 2020: Top Six Strikers to Watch Out For

UEFA has confirmed that the delayed Euro 2020 tournament will still be known as UEFA EURO 2020, to honor the event’s original vision.

The tournament was postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is all set to kick off this Friday, June 11. In 2016, Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal team won the cup in France.

This time, the tournament will be hosted across 11 unique venues across 11 European nations: Amsterdam, Baku, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Bucharest, Budapest, London, Munich, Rome, Saint Petersburg and Seville will be hosting the league stage, a round of 16 and quarterfinal games.

Here’s the list of six of the hottest strikers to look out for over the next month:

Romelu Lukaku

As the top-ranked team in the world, Belgium is expected to do great things at the upcoming major tournament.

A lot will depend on the fitness and form of Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard, but they will need striker Lukaku to put the ball in the net.

Lukaku has been one of the top strikers in the world for many years now, and at 28, he seems to be hitting his stride.

He’s coming off a season in which he scored 30 goals for Inter Milan, helping them win the Serie A title. And with 60 goals in 93 appearances for Belgium, he’s their all-time leading scorer.

He’s been especially prolific in recent years, scoring four goals at the 2018 World Cup and seven in just five Euro qualifying matches.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Ronaldo, now 36, could this be his second-to-last appearance at a major international tournament.

In Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph, his role was limited — scoring only three goals, with the opener in the semi-final against Wales, and coming off injured in the first half of the final against France.

Ronaldo’s importance to Portugal may have decreased somewhat given the wealth of talent on the team.

However, he is still coming off a season in which he scored 36 goals for Juventus.

The Portugal captain is now eyeing the all-time international scoring record of 109 held by Iran’s Ali Daei. Ronaldo is currently just six goals shy of that figure.

Harry Kane

As Kane prepares to lead Gareth Southgate’s attack at Euro 2020, his build-up has been overshadowed by uncertainty surrounding his future at club level.

Last month, Kane indicated that it might be time for him to leave Tottenham Hotspur.

However, the 27-year-old England captain will need to put that to the back of his mind and focus on the task at hand.

Kane is no stranger to success on the international stage. He was the top scorer at the 2018 World Cup with six goals, and he followed that up by scoring 12 times in Euro qualifying.

In the Premier League season just finished, Kane was once again the top scorer with 23 goals, despite playing for an underperforming Spurs team.

Robert Lewandowski

At 32, Lewandowski is in his prime, having just set a new record for the most goals in a Bundesliga season by netting 41 times in 29 appearances for Bayern Munich.

If the Ballon d’Or had been awarded last year, Lewandowski would have deserved to win it.

His chances of winning it this year will likely depend on how he performs at the Euro for Poland.

However, Lewandowski hasn’t done well at recent major tournaments — he only scored once at Euro 2016 and didn’t score at all as his country was Eliminated from the last World Cup in the group stage.

Gerard Moreno

The Spanish national team may not have the same star power it did in years prior, but there’s still no shortage of talent under current head coach Luis Enrique. In attack, one player to keep an eye on is 29-year-old forward Marcos Moreno.

Moreno had a breakout year in 2019-2020, scoring 23 goals in La Liga (second only to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi) and seven goals in the Europa League, including a goal in the final as his club Villarreal defeated Manchester United.

A late bloomer, Moreno didn’t make his debut for Spain until the qualifying campaign for the 2020 European Championships under former coach Robert Moreno.

Karim Benzema

Benzema’s return to the France squad was great news, with the Real Madrid striker finally ending his five and a half year international hiatus.

The last time Benzema played for France was in 2015, before a blackmail scandal involving a sextape of him and former teammate Mathieu Valbuena broke.

It seemed like Benzema would never get a recall, but his hopes were resurrected in January when French prosecutors said they would send him and four others to trial.

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