Euro 2012, Cristiano Ronaldo: Who Will Finish as the Leading Goal Scorer?

Dan TalintyreSenior Analyst IIMay 29, 2012

Euro 2012, Cristiano Ronaldo: Who Will Finish as the Leading Goal Scorer?

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    Euro 2012 is now less than two weeks away. 

    There are going to be great matches, spectacular saves and brilliant teamwork on display all month.

    More than that—there's going to be sensational goals.

    And, there's going to be lots of them. It happens every Euro tournament, and it's going to happen again in 2012.

    The big question is as to where these goals are going to come from.

    Who will be the danger man of the tournament and who will find the back of the net with ease?

    Who will be the leading goal scorer for Euro 2012? 

    Let's take a look at some of the options. All statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.com and Soccerway.com.

Mario Gomez (Germany)

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    2011-12 stats: 40 goals in 44 appearances for Bayern Munich

    National team stats: 21 goals in 51 appearances for Germany

    With Germany one of the favorites for the tournament and expected to be one of the last teams standing, Gomez should see enough minutes on the pitch to chalk up a number of goals.

    He also has the support of Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Muller in attack with him.

    Prediction: Six goals

Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal)

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    2011-12 stats: 60 goals in 53 appearances for Real Madrid

    National team stats: 32 goals in 89 appearances for Portugal

    It's tough to leave a player like Cristiano Ronaldo out of any discussion regarding goal-scoring. The Real Madrid star showed this year that he is one of the best in the world.

    The big question for Ronaldo's ability to score in Euro 2012 will be as to whether Portugal can generate enough going forward and whether they can still be there late in the tournament.

    Prediction: Three goals

Robin Van Persie (Netherlands)

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    2011-12 stats: 37 goals in 46 appearances for Arsenal

    National team stats: 25 goals in 63 appearances for Netherlands

    Fresh off his Golden Boot Award in the English Premier League, Robin van Persie will certainly be a threat throughout Euro 2012—especially since he's playing for his contract next season, to an extent.

    Will he find the back of the net often enough to topple his opponents? 

    Prediction: Three goals

Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)

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    2011-12 stats: 35 goals in 43 appearances for AC MIlan

    National team: 29 goals in 75 appearances for Sweden

    Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be Sweden's main offensive threat throughout Euro 2012—meaning that he's bound to find himself on the end of plenty of opportunities.

    However, considering Sweden will most likely not make it out of their group and, if they do not pass their quarterfinal opponent, I can't see Ibrahimovic bagging more than a couple of goals.

    Prediction: Two goals

Wayne Rooney (England)

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    2011-12 stats: 34 goals in 41 appearances for Manchester United

    National team stats: 28 goals in 73 appearances for England

    With plenty of midfield talent, Wayne Rooney should see plenty of chances come his way throughout Euro 2012.

    Therefore, expect the Manchester United forward to bag himself plenty of goals.

    England should make it out of their group and perhaps to the semifinals—giving Rooney plenty of goals to his name throughout the tournament.

    Prediction: Seven goals

Karim Benzema (France)

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    2011 stats: 32 goals in 39 appearances for Real Madrid

    National team stats: 13 goals in 43 appearances for France

    Karim Benzema doesn't receive much of the attacking limelight at Real Madrid, thanks to Cristiano Ronaldo, but the French striker still managed an excellent strike rate throughout the regular season.

    This is something he'll hope to continue at Euro 2012.

    France should play enough games to give Benzema goal-scoring chances. The only question is going to be whether they can generate enough of those chances.

    Prediction: Five goals

Fernando Torres (Spain)

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    2011-12 stats: 11 goals in 31 appearances

    National team stats: 27 goals in 91 appearances for Spain

    Since transferring from Liverpool, it's no secret that Fernando Torres' goal-scoring has declined—perhaps not in ability but definitely in numbers.

    Euro 2012 represents a great chance to turn that around. 

    Torres will be ahead of a dominant midfield and will no doubt see plenty of chances. Spain have a strong side and should make it to at least the semifinals of the tournament, meaning that Torres could have plenty of goals next to his name.

    "Could" being the key word there.

    Prediction: Two goals

     

    Who do you think will be the leading goal scorer for Euro 2012? 

    Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: @dantalintyre