Goals are essential in soccer. Without a goal, it is simply impossible to win a game. But to really impress during the league season or a major soccer tournament, you need players who don’t just hit the target once with a lucky shot. There have to be real goal thieves in the team who can boost the goal difference game after game. While the number of goals for the club goes up nicely, in the meantime everyone is also looking at personal achievements. Because who will be the one and only top scorer of the Eredivisie, the Premier League or the European or World Cup? You can answer this question perfectly if you prepare well. The winning prediction will also be worth a nice sum of money.
Everyone looks at the top scorer list with a slanted eye
A true top scorer is worth a lot in soccer. If a striker has many goals behind his name, the market value rises immediately. It makes sense, because high-scoring players can really make the difference between loss and success. For every club it is important to have a good forward line, with at least one striker who can score from the most impossible positions. A beautiful header like Robin van Persie’s at the 2014 World Cup … or a clever volley from an almost impossible angle, like Marco van Basten managed in the 1988 European Championship final … these kinds of goals are etched in our memories. But a goal is a goal, so it is also important to keep a cool head when the ball just has to go in. With a tackle in the box and a referee pointing to the spot, the chance for a goal is there for the taking. However, there has to be a player behind the ball who makes a confident run and delivers the shot with pinpoint accuracy.
Every soccer team benefits from players who can score a lot. Yet there is a big difference between a club’s top scorer and the most scoring player in the entire league. Just look at the 2020/21 Bundesliga season. Robert Lewandowski became the absolute top scorer of the league, scoring a whopping 41 (!) goals for his club Bayern Munich. This huge string of goals certainly contributed to Bayern becoming national champions once again. Great rival Borussia Dortmund, of course, had its own top scorer in its ranks: Erling Haaland. But with 27 goals in the entire league season, the Norwegian still lagged far behind Lewandowski. This is the difference between a player who scores a lot and gives his team nice victories and a real top scorer who makes the whole league tremble. The big question is always: who is in absolute top form and who has the right people around him to provide chances. Because even top scorers can’t do it alone.
The league season produces many top shooters
To win the national championship, it obviously takes several players who can score. Not everything depends on that one top scorer within the team, although this person is crucial. Without men like Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema, it is simply very difficult to compete seriously for that national title. Because top scorers play such an important role in soccer, each league keeps meticulous records. Each goal (whether it is a penalty, a header from a corner kick or a goal from a lightning-fast attack from the left flank) makes the number rise.
Once the league season is over, the final tally is taken. Which player has scored the most goals and can call himself top scorer of the Eredivisie, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A or Bundesliga? It’s really not just a matter of honor. For example, since 2020/21, the top scorer of the Eredivisie gets to hold the Willy van der Kuijlen trophy. In England, on the contrary, it’s all about the Golden Boot, which is waiting for the Premier League’s top shooter.
It’s all about timing when betting on the top scorer
If you want to bet on the league’s top scorer, you need to get in on the action well before the awards ceremony. The longer you wait to bet, the clearer the differences become. But that also means that the odds for the most logical top shooter go down considerably. That is why it is important to keep an eye on the leading candidates for this honorary title early in the season. The convenient thing is that the top scorer lists are filled right from that first league game. Week after week the goals are updated and slowly the list takes shape. It’s up to you to strike at the right time.
You want to take advantage of high odds, but predicting too early can also kill you. For the list, the entire league season counts, and an injury or a sudden lack of form can spell the end for those top scorer ambitions. Only … if you wait too long, you know the odds could have been much higher. Suppose you had bet your money on VVV player Georgios Giakoumakis at the beginning of the 2020/21 season. A pretty risky gamble, because of course the Eredivisie at that time had much better-known goal scorers in its selections. Yet it was precisely Giakoumakis who at the end of the season was well ahead of Nos. 2 and 3, Donyell Malen and Steven Berghuis. So a little risk can take you far. The winter break is a nice gauge in that regard. The league season is about halfway through and the main contenders are known. It’s a waste to wait any longer now if you’re going for that top scorer bet.
Which goal scorer can peak during the European Championship or World Cup?
The top scorer of the Eredivisie or Serie A must be in form all season. The advantage, though, is that competition within the league is limited. That changes when you start betting on the top scorer of a prestigious tournament, such as the Champions League or the European Championship or World Cup. Suddenly all the soccer greats are facing each other, making the competition incredibly tough. Moreover, everything has to happen in a short period of time. This is especially true of the European and World Cups. In a period of a few weeks it all has to happen.
The big names in international soccer really have to be in top form to win the prize of most scoring player. In doing so, they are extra dependent on the performance of the rest of the squad. Whereas the league season counts the same number of matches for each club (and thus each possible top scorer), soccer tournaments work with a knockout system. You cannot avoid this when betting on the top scorer of the Champions League or World Cup. So take a good look at the possible opponents the teams are going to face before you definitively name the top scorer. After all, it gets a lot harder to get the title of top scorer if the tournament only lasts until the eighth finals. But the task is not impossible. That was proven by Cristiano Ronaldo, who became top scorer of the 2021 European Championship. And that while Portugal had to lose out already in the eighth final. Those five goals from the group stage were just good enough to beat the competition.
Here’s how to approach betting on top scorers
Betting on the top scorer starts with making a betting list. As a true soccer fan, you probably have some in your head. You know who the most scoring strikers are in the Eredivisie and of course you are aware of the most important goal scorers of the World Cup. The list of contenders naturally changes as the season or tournament progresses. Differences begin to emerge and with that the number of serious contenders only gets smaller. Always keep in mind that a backlog is hard to catch up with. A player who is on four goals after ten league games is going to have a tough time if there are already superiors who have scored six or seven times. Something surprising would have to happen for this striker to catch up.
The current top scorer list provides good guidance when betting on the most scoring player of the season or tournament. It is a matter of stripping away until only a few serious candidates remain. Remember to also look at scoring ability in previous seasons. You want to know if a player is capable of holding his top form until the last league game. You might find out that that striker who leads the standings in mid-November was a lot less successful in the second half of the league in previous seasons. This kind of information is hugely valuable to your betting. In addition, it is important to see the players of as part of the big picture. By this we mean not only their own teammates (who absolutely have a large share of scoring chances), but also the competition from other potential top scorers. If Mo Salah is clearly not having his season, that opens up opportunities for others playing in the league. By analyzing well and keeping an eye on all possible top shooters, you could just benefit from great odds.