Euro 2012: Top 10 Strikers to Watch
During Euro 2004 and Euro 2008, 77 goals were scored in each respective tournament. What impact will we see in Euro 2012 from these strikers? To find out, we will need to see what strikers will be starring in Euro 2012.
Throughout this past season in European football, there were some prolific goal scorers who will be plying their trade in Poland and Ukraine in just under two weeks time. Strikers from leagues such as the Premier League, the Bundesliga and Serie A will try to be among the leading goal scorers in this tournament.
There are also plenty of other strikers participating in Euro 2012 who did not show a fantastic goalscoring ability in league play this past season. But these players are more than capable of causing celebrations in Euro 2012 by some strong performances.
Here are ten strikers to keep your eyes on during Euro 2012.
During this past season, Robert Lewandowski finished second in the Bundesliga in goals scored. Averaging 130 minutes for every goal scored, the Polish striker was an integral member of the Borussia Dortmund side that completed the double, and were among the most dominant sides in Europe.
Alone with his great goalscoring totals, Lewandowski would be considered to be one of the top strikers in Euro 2012. But he will be more than just a talented goalscorer once Euro 2012 stars—he will be one of the biggest stars for the host nation.
Lewandowski has more goals (13) than any other player on Poland's roster. Furthermore, if Lewandowski has a strong tournament, there could be a chance that he makes a transfer to one of Europe's biggest clubs.
The biggest star of Euro 2012 is Cristiano Ronaldo. This past season, Ronaldo had his best season yet with Real Madrid scoring 60 total clubs for the Spanish giants.
Ronaldo is playing the best football of his career, but he will need to put together a fantastic performance to ensure Portugal's passage into the quarterfinals. With both Germany and the Netherlands inside of their group, the Portuguese will have an uphill climb.
Part of Ronaldo's legacy will be determined in a few week's time. As Portugal's captain and star player, he will need to play his best in order to give his nation a shot of fulfilling expectations.
Born in Poland, Miroslav Klose has been the most prolific goalscorer in German football history.
Klose had his best club season in years with Lazio over the past several months. With 13 goals in Serie A action, he finished tenth in the league.
Despite a fantastic goalscoring record, Klose has only recorded two goals in the European championships. With some matches taking place in the nation he was born in, Klose could have a tournament to remember.
A product of PSV's academy, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had struggled for years with various clubs to find the goalscoring form he once displayed.
But since last summer, Huntelaar has been arguably the best striker in the world. Outside of his mind-boggling 46 goals this past season, Huntelaar also led all players with most goals in qualifying with 12.
Considering the attacking players that the Netherlands have, Huntelaar could be the missing piece of the puzzle for one of football's biggest underachievers.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has long been considered one of the best strikers in the world. However, he has shown one major weakness during his career— failing to show up in big fixtures.
Ibrahimovic has continued to fail at the club level in the important matches with Inter Milan, Barcelona and AC Milan, despite his fantastic playing ability.
Last season, Ibrahimovic picked up his game for Milan, scoring 28 goals in Serie A and 35 goals in all competitions. Ibrahimovic kept Milan in the title race until the ending of the season.
Robin Van Persie
Last season's PFA winner, Robin van Persie, showed us exactly what he could do when he is healthy for an entire season. Altogether, van Persie totaled 30 goals in the EPL and helped to secure a Champions League spot for Arsenal after a terrible start to the season.
Now, van Persie will look to continue to this form for the Netherlands. After a poor performance in South Africa two years ago, van Persie will need to put in an incredible effort in order to get the Netherlands to their second European title.
Fernando Torres has gone through a season he may want to forget. Despite getting Chelsea into the Champions League final and a better run of form at the end of the season, Torres was not selected to start in the final.
Now, Torres will go to a Spanish side that is going to feel hurt with their top striker, David Villa, recovering from a broken leg.
If Spain are going to repeat as European champions, Torres must play like he did with Liverpool. If he doesn't, Spain won't win Euro 2012.
Karim Benzema was one of the top strikers this past season. With 33 goals in all competitions, Benzema was an integral part of Madrid's La Liga winning side, along with a side that came within a few penalty kicks of competing in the Champions League final.
Euro 2012 will be Benzema's first international tournament after getting snubbed from France's infamous 2010 World Cup roster.
Mario Balotelli is one of the top emerging yet controversial talents in football. This is especially true with the Italian national team, where Balotelli has been a lightning rod for criticism.
Balotelli, who has been caught using an iPad while sitting on the bench along with being the first black player to score a goal for the Italians, may or may not make an appearance in Euro 2012.
Considering his antics with Manchester City this past season, Balotelli could easily do something memorable for the wrong reason in a few weeks.
Wayne Rooney will miss the first two matches of Euro 2012 due to suspension. For England, this is the biggest story involving their players going into the tournament.
Rooney will only get to play one group stage match—against Ukraine on June 19. When Rooney comes back, he probably will find himself in a must-win situation in order to ensure England's placement in the quarterfinals.