The stars set to battle it out for Euro 2022 Golden Boot
The Women’s European Championship is just around the corner and there are plenty of candidates who can walk away with the Golden Boot of the tournament.
England’s Ellen White – who has tested positive for Covid-19 – is in the running after establishing herself as a world-class striker, but she will have to fend off Ada Hegerberg, who is the favorite in the league.
Vivianne Miedema has emerged as a potential candidate after an impressive season at Arsenal, while Marie-Antoinette Katoto is a wildcard who could shake things up this summer.
Sportsmail has gathered the five players eligible for the individual award and analyzed their likelihood of receiving the award.
Ada Hegerberg returns to the international stage for the first time since Euro 2017
Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
Ada Hegerberg is returning to the international scene for the first time since Euro 2017 after refusing to play for her country due to the federation’s treatment of the women’s team.
Hegerberg, however, has not taken her foot off the gas in the intervening period. Instead, she has won the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or, taking her number of Champions League crowns with her club Lyon to six.
Hegerberg’s success over the past five years is even more impressive when you consider that she was sidelined for two of them with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
Hegerberg is entering the tournament in fine form – last season he scored 16 goals in 27 games. In addition, the 26-year-old has never missed a penalty – something Norway can rely on during the tournament.
However, Hegerberg has yet to shoot for the international stage – he has only scored once in a European Championship. Her only goal came in 2013 when she propelled Norway to the final at the age of 17.
Nevertheless, she will have Caroline Graham Hansen and Guro Reiten by her side to inspire goal-scoring form.
During her time away from international football, Hegerberg has won the inaugural Women’s Ballon d’Or and secured two Champions League crowns with her club Lyon.
Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands)
Vivianne Miedema was well known heading into Euro 2017, but it was at the tournament in the Netherlands that the striker established himself as a world-class player.
Miedema scored four goals in the knockout stage – including two in their 4-2 win over Denmark, which crowned the Netherlands as European champions for the first time.
Miedema went on to help the Netherlands qualify for another World Cup final in 2019 and became her country’s all-time top scorer when she scored 60 goals in their 3-1 win over Cameroon in the group stage.
The Dutch international also excelled at the 2021 Olympic Games in London. She scored 10 goals leading up to their penalty shootout loss in the quarterfinals against the US.
As a result, she set a new tournament record, tying the record set by Michelle Akers’ Women’s World Cup final in the 1991 inaugural final.
The eight goals she scored in the group stage of the tournament also made history. She became the top men’s and women’s goalscorer for every major group stage of a tournament (including the World Cup, European Championship and Olympic Games).
Miedema scored four goals four years ago during the knockout phase of Euro 2017 for the Netherlands
Ellen White (England)
Ellen White will be a fan favorite among England fans. She has excelled for the Lionesses over the years and will be looking for silverware on her property this summer.
White has already made history for the tournament – after scoring international goals for half a century when England defeated North Macedonia 10-0 in April this year.
Moreover, history proves that English players are more than capable of taking the Golden Boot as Jodie Taylor won it at Euro 2017 and White shared the prize with Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan at the 2019 World Cup.
Taylor’s five goals in 2017 helped England reach the semi-finals of the European Championship, while White shared the prize with six goals.
However, some have wondered if White is still as prolific as she once was.
Ellen White becomes a fan favorite of England after impressing for the Lioness
Marie Antoinette Katoto (France)
French international Marie-Antoinette Katoto is a bit of a wildcard when it comes to the Golden Boot race this summer.
Euro 2022 will be the 23-year-old’s international debut after she was controversially left out of the 2019 World Cup squad.
However, she has proved her worth at Paris Saint-Germain, having broken the club’s goalscoring record last season.
Known for her strength in the air, Katoto could pose a real threat at the tournament this summer. She is also quick on the ball and good with her feet.
However, she may struggle to get service from her French teammates as they are in a group with Italy, Belgium and Iceland.
France international Marie-Antoinette Katoto is a bit of a wildcard for the Golden Boot
Alexia Putellas (Spain)
Alexia Putellas may not be a true striker, but she still poses a real goal threat for Spain.
She occupies the number 10 position for both Barcelona and her country, but has scored a wealth of goals from that position.
During the 2021-2022 campaign, Putellas scored 17 goals in 19 appearances and took the Ballon d’Or for her impressive performance.
Putellas, however, is facing a sort of goalscoring drought on the international stage – he has only scored one tournament goal.
That goal came five years ago when she found the back of the net for Spain during the 2013 European Championship.
Alexia Putellas may not be a real striker, but she still poses a real threat to goal