While all goalscorers want to win their respective league’s golden boot, there is a bigger goalscoring prize up for grabs in Europe.
Of course, we’re talking about the Golden Shoe.
The Golden Shoe takes into account every league in Europe, with players scoring points for every league goal they score.
Basically, if you’re playing in the top five leagues based on UEFA coefficients - Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Primeira Liga and Serie A - your goal tally is multiplied by two.
If you’re playing in leagues ranked six to 21, your goal tally is multiplied by 1.5 and if you’re playing in a league ranked below 22, your tally is multiplied by one.
The very best players in Europe compete for the prize with either Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo winning the award in the previous eight seasons - although Luis Suarez shared the award with Ronaldo in the 2013/14 season.
And, as we enter the final few days of the season, it looks as though we knew this season’s winner - Messi.
Messi will go into Barcelona’s final match against Eibar four goals clear of Sporting’s Bas Dost - who is the only player that can ‘realistically’ catch him (well if Harry Kane can score four, so can Dost).
The European Shoe rankings
Here is how the top five looks right now:
1 | Lionel Messi | Barcelona | 35 goals | 70 points
2 | Bas Dost | Sporting | 31 goals | 62 points
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang | Borussia Dortmund | 31 goals | 62 points
3 | Robert Lewandowski | Bayern Munich | 30 goals | 60 points
4 | Edin Dzeko | AS Roma | 28 goals | 56 points
5 | Luis Suárez | FC Barcelona | 27 goals | 54 points
-. Dries Mertens | Naples | 27 goals | 54 points
So, if Messi fails to score against Eibar, Dost can draw level with him if he manages to score four against Chaves later in the day. Improbable? Yes. Impossible? No.
Despite the likelihood of missing out on the La Liga title this evening, at least Messi can celebrate winning the European Golden Shoe and draw level with Ronaldo with a tally of four.
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