The women’s European Championship is on the horizon and there are plenty of candidates capable of walking away with the tournament’s Golden Boot.
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 favourite heading into the competition.
Vivianne Miedema has emerged as a potential candidate after an impressive season with Arsenal, while Marie-Antoinette Katoto is a wildcard that could shake things up this summer.
Sportsmail have rounded up the five players that are in contention for the individual accolade and analysed how likely they are to pick up the award.
Ada Hegerberg will return to the international stage for the first time since Euro 2017
Ada Hegerberg (Norway)
Ada Hegerberg will return to the international stage 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.
However, Hegerberg has not taken her foot off the gas in the interim period. Instead she has won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or and taken her tally of Champions League crowns with her club side Lyon to six.
Hegerberg’s success over the past five years is even more impressive when you think about the fact she was sidelined with an anterior cruciate ligament injury for two of them.
Hegerberg heads into the tournament in fine form – having scored 16 goals in 27 appearances last season. Additionally, the 26-year-old has never missed a penalty as of yet – something Norway may rely on during the tournament.
However, Hegerberg is yet to fire on the international stage – having only ever scored once during a European Championship. Her only goal came in 2013 when she propelled Norway into the final at just 17 years old.
Nevertheless, she will have the likes of Caroline Graham Hansen and Guro Reiten alongside her to help inspire some 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 side Lyon
Vivianne Miedema (Holland)
Vivianne Miedema was well known heading into Euro 2017 but it was at the tournament in Holland that saw the striker establish herself as a world class player.
Miedema scored four goals during the knockout stages – including two in their 4-2 triumph over Denmark which crowned Holland as the European champions for the first time.
Miedema went on to help Holland qualify for another World Cup final in 2019 and became her country’s all-time top scorer when she reached 60 goals in their 3-1 win over Cameroon in the group stages.
The Dutch international also excelled at the 2021 Olympic Games in London. She scored 10 times in the run-up to their quarter-final penalty shoot-out loss to the US.
As a result, she set a new tournament record and equalled Michelle Akers’ Women’s World Cup finals record at the inaugural 1991 finals.
The eight goals she scored in the group stages of tournament also created history. She became the highest goal scorer out of men and women for any major tournament group stage (including the World Cup, Euros and Olympics).
Miedema scored four goals during the knockout stages of Euro 2017 for Holland four years ago
Ellen White (England)
Ellen White will be a fan favourite among the England fans. She has excelled for the Lionesses over the years and will be looking to win some silverware on home turf this summer.
White has already made history ahead of the tournament – having completed a half-century of international goals when England beat North Macedonia 10-0 in April of this year.
Plus, history proves English players are more than capable of picking up 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, whilst White shared the award with six strikes.
However, some have questioned whether White is still as prolific as she once was.
Ellen White will be a fan favourite among the England fans after impressing for the Lioness
Marie-Antoinette Katoto (France)
France international Marie-Antoinette Katoto is somewhat of a wildcard when it comes to the Golden Boot race this summer.
Euro 2022 will be the 23-year-old’s debut international tournament after she was controversially left out of the 2019 World Cup team.
However, she has proven her worth with Paris Saint-Germain – having shattered the club’s goal-scoring record last season.
Katoto is known for her strength in the air and could pose a real threat at the tournament this summer. She is also quick in possession and good with her feet.
However, she may struggle to get service from her French team-mates considering they are in a group with Italy, Belgium and Iceland.
France international Marie-Antoinette Katoto is somewhat of a wildcard for the Golden Boot
Alexia Putellas (Spain)
Alexia Putellas may not be an out and out striker but she still poses a real threat in front of goal for Spain.
She occupies the No.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 outings and picked up the Ballon d’Or for her impressive performances.
However, Putellas has experience somewhat of a goal drought on the international stage – having only scored one tournament goal.
That goal came five years ago when she found the back of the net for Spain during the 2013 Euros.
Alexia Putellas may not be an out and out striker but she still poses a real threat in front of goal