Champions League: The Race For The Golden Boot

With the Champions League group stages completed and the knockout stages fast approaching, I look at the current top scorers in the competition. Many will see which players currently top the ranks and look ahead to the rest of the competition. I will analyze which players have the form and ability to secure the prestigious Golden Boot to come to the tournament’s conclusion in May.

The Leaders:

Neymar, PSG – 6 Goals:

The PSG man has been in electric form in the Champions League this season scoring six goals in goals matches. However, they do face a tough draw in the last 16, coming up against Lionel Messi’s Barcelona. Neymar’s chances of ending the competition as a top scorer will rely heavily on getting past the Spanish side. If they can get through this test, he seems to be one of the favorites for the Golden Boot.

Erling Håland, Borussia Dortmund – 6 Goals:

The Borussia Dortmund youngster has been prolific since joining the German side and the Champions League has been no different for him. He has amassed six goals despite only playing in four of Dortmund’s six group games. This kind of form makes him a hot favorite for the overall Golden Boot. Dortmund next faces a Sevilla side who conceded eight goals in their final four group games. This appears a defense that Håland can exploit.

Álvaro Morata, Juventus – 6 Goals:

It’s perhaps a surprise to see Morata at the top of the scoring charts. The Spaniard has been inconsistent over the last few years of his career but he seems to have turned a corner this season whilst being on loan at Juventus. Juventus’ last 16 draw against Porto seems friendly whilst paying in a team with Cristiano Ronaldo will do his chances no harm.

Marcus Rashford, Manchester United – 6 Goals:

Someone who definitely won’t be ending the competition at the top of the scoring charts is Rashford. Although he played extremely well in the group stages, his Manchester United side choked and ultimately crashed out of the competition at the first hurdle.

Alassane Pléa, Borussia Mönchengladbach – 5 Goals:

This is perhaps the most surprising name at the top end of the current standings. The Mönchengladbach player is hardly a household name yet has amassed 5 goals through the group stages, an impressive return. However, with Mönchengladbach being big underdogs against Manchester City it is hard to see him continuing his scoring run for much longer.

Olivier Giroud, Chelsea – 5 Goals:

The Chelsea man has found playing time hard to come by in the Premier League but has certainly taken his chances on the European stage. The target man only played 143 minutes throughout the group stages, way down on the other top scorers. Despite this, he has scored 5 goals for the London side. In fact, 4 of them came in one game, away to Sevilla. However, with the lack of playing time, it’s hard to see Giroud pushing for the top scorers’ spot.

Notable Others:

Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus – 4 Goals, Lionel Messi, Barcelona – 3 Goals:

The two biggest names in soccer aren’t too far off the top of the scoring list either which is ominous for the other contenders. The two of them are the highest scorers in the competition’s history and combined have a ridiculous 252 goals. This highlights their Champions League pedigree and so as long as they progress in this year’s competition expect them to be amongst the goals.

Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich – 3 Goals:

The form player of last year’s competition, Lewandowski top-scored with 15 goals. He has not quite hit the same form in this year’s edition so far. However, 3 goals is not a shocking return and you can expect this number to greatly increase as Bayern Munich progress through the tournament. Bayern’s Last 16 tie with Lazio should provide Lewandowski with the perfect chance to climb up the goal-scoring ranks.

Kylian Mbappé, PSG – 2 Goals:

Kylian Mbappé is a player who has surprisingly struggled for goals in this year’s competition. Despite being the 2nd most expensive footballer in history he has only managed to score twice in the Champions League this season. Although this is surprising, he has also contributed 3 assists which shows his overall importance to the team. As such, you can expect Mbappé to be amongst the goals as PSG’s campaign continues.

My Pick:

My personal pick is that Robert Lewandowski will end up as the Champions League Golden Boot winner. Despite his relatively slow start in the group stages, I believe he will quickly catch up with the leading scorers. This is due to the likelihood that Bayern Munich will go deep into the tournament whilst attempting to defend their crown.

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