There is a four-way tie in the race for the UEFA EURO 2012 adidas Golden Boot following the conclusion of the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Croatia's Mario Mandžukić and Alan Dzagoev of Russia were among the early contenders for the top scorers' crown after finding the net three times apiece in their teams' opening two fixtures. Neither country made it out of the group stage, however, forcing Mandžukić and Dzagoev to settle for their lot.
Though they remain at the head of the pile, there are two players with the same tally who look to be in ominous form. Mario Gomez, who scored 26 Bundesliga goals for FC Bayern München this term, also struck three times in Germany's first two fixtures against Portugal and the Netherlands. He is yet to add to that tally, though, having only featured for ten minutes of the quarter-final win against Greece.
Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, scorer of 40 Liga goals for Real Madrid CF in 2011/12, was far slower out of the blocks but now looks to have hit his stride. He was phenomenal in the 2-1 matchday three victory against the Dutch, scoring both goals, and also struck the winner as Paulo Bento's men defeated the Czech Republic to move into the last four.
The Spain trio of Xabi Alonso, Fernando Torres and Cesc Fàbregas are the only players on two goals who are still involved in the tournament. The race is on.
If players finish level on goals:
The following criteria are applied, in this order, to determine who wins the adidas Golden Shoe:
a) highest number of assists;
b) fewest minutes played.
NB: Only goals scored in normal or extra time count towards a player's tournament total – penalties scored in a shoot-out do not.
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