The Golden Boot isn’t an MVP trophy.
That has never been more apparent than in Euro 2012.
Fernando Torres winning the award says so much more than that; he scored the most goals in the European Championship. And let’s just say if Spain didn’t defeat Italy, under the given circumstances, Torres being awarded the honor would’ve looked even worse than it does now.
Why does Torres winning the Golden Boot look bad? He only started two games in the entire tournament, and he was an unused substitute in Spain’s semifinal match against Portugal. I hate to ask this, but if you remove him from the Spaniard’s roster, do they still win it all?
I don’t think that question is too difficult to answer: without a doubt. All three of Torres’ goals came in 4-0 blowouts that, if they were subtracted from the final score, the outcome of the game wouldn’t have changed.
Now, I realize Torres is capable of influencing a match by more than simply putting the ball in the net, but with Iker Casillas shutting down the opposition like he did over Spain’s six wins, Torres would’ve been dispensable.
Now, that’s one way to look at the award and its winner. Another is that Torres should’ve gotten much more playing time. If he’s capable of scoring three goals in just 189 minutes of action, just imagine if he would’ve played as many minutes as Mario Gomez who recorded 281. It isn’t a guarantee that Torres would’ve kept up his incredible pace, but if he did, he would’ve easily been the tournament’s MVP.
Having said that, if the Spaniards wouldn’t have won the title, Vicente del Bosque would’ve been called out for his decision to not play him. A losing team failing to give playing time to one of the world’s most talented strikers is ludicrous. Luckily for Spain and Del Bosque, though, they won and won’t be second guessed.
You may or may not believe Torres deserved the Golden Boot, but his ability to win an award that he was barely given an opportunity to win just shows how dominant that he's capable of being.
David Daniels is a featured columnist at Bleacher Report and a syndicated writer.