How Bale can follow Shearer and Co with Golden Boot

Wales forward Gareth Bale has joined an elite group of players to have scored in every EURO group stage game – we look what happened next for the previous six.

Alan Shearer celebrates his goal against Switzerland in the opening game of EURO '96
Alan Shearer celebrates his goal against Switzerland in the opening game of EURO '96 ©Getty Images

Gareth Bale rounded off a dream night for Wales by scoring the final goal in their 3-0 win against Russia on Monday, adding to his free-kicks against Slovakia and England to become only the seventh player in EURO history to score in every group game.

What next for Bale and Wales? If some of his predecessors are anything to go by, he could be picking up the Golden Boot. 

Michel Platini, 1984
France's midfield maestro left it late to break the deadlock in the tournament's opening game against Denmark, scoring the only goal in the 78th minute. He was only just getting started, though, netting back-to-back hat-tricks as France demolished Belgium 5-0 and beat Yugoslavia 3-2.

Watch all Michel Platini's EURO goals
Watch all Michel Platini's EURO goals

What happened next?
The captain orchestrated France's epic semi-final with Portugal in Marseille, turning in Jean Tigana's cross in the final minute of extra-time to set up a 3-2 win. Platini scored a record ninth goal of the tournament to get the party going in the 2-0 win over Spain in the final as France won their first major trophy. He was, by some distance, the Player of the Tournament.

Hristo Stoichkov, 1996
Having scored ten goals in qualifying, Bulgaria's hopes in a tricky group with France and Spain were always going to rest on Stoichkov's ability to find the net. The then Parma striker duly delivered, converting a penalty in a 1-1 draw against Spain and scoring the only goal in a 1-0 success over Romania. He also struck in his team's 3-1 defeat by France.

What happened next?
Despite Stoichkov's efforts, Group B proved too strong for Bulgaria, although the striker still finished joint second top scorer.

Alan Shearer, 1996
Shearer and and Teddy Sheringham's profitable 'SAS' partnership was crucial to England, with the former enjoying his finest tournament. Shearer began in ruthles fashion, scoring against Switzerland and Scotland before hitting a double in England's memorable 4-1 thrashing of the Netherlands.

What happened next?
Shearer was shut out by Spain in the quarter-finals but did his job from the penalty spot as England prevailed in the shoot-out. They had no such luck in the semi-final shoot-out with Germany, although Shearer's third-minute header ensured he picked up the Golden Boot with five goals.

Savo Milošević
Savo Milošević©Getty Images

Savo Milošević, 2000
The then Real Zaragoza striker started and completed a sensational comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 in the opener with Slovenia. He struck the only goal in a 1-0 win over Norway and netted the opener in another epic Group C game, his side losing 4-3 to Spain by conceding two injury time goals.

What happened next?
The late collapse to Spain was a sign of things to come, and Yugoslavia were blitzed 6-1 by the Netherlands in the quarter finals, Patrick Kluivert running riot for the Dutch. Milošević did manage a consolation goal in injury time, which meant he shared the Golden Boot with Kluivert.

Ruud van Nistelrooy, 2004
The Dutchman had already earned a reputation as a ruthless marksman with Manchester United and quickly set about doing the same in his first major tournament. He struck late in a 1-1 draw with rivals Germany and scored in the 3-2 defeat to the Czechs, before bagging a brace in a commanding 3-0 win over Latvia.

What happened next?
Van Nistelrooy scored from the spot in a nerve-wracking shoot-out win over Sweden, but hosts Portugal proved too much for the Netherlands, losing 2-1.

Milan Baroš
Milan Baroš©AFP

Milan Baroš, 2004
The Czech striker was the surprise star of a surprising tournament, having underwhelmed in his previous two seasons with Liverpool. Baros had a curious habit of scoring his three goals in Group D in between the 70th and 80th minutes as the Czechs won each game, beating Latvia 1-0, the Netherlands 3-2 and then Germany 2-1. Baroš twisted his way through their defence before scoring the goal that sent Germany home.

What happened next?
Baroš scored twice as the Czechs swatted aside Denmark to set up a semi-final with Greece, but their dream of making the final was ended in extra-time by the eventual winners. Baroš, however, had already made his mark on the tournament, collecting the Golden Boot.

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