Football

Top five: Europe's leading goalscorers

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Lionel Messi was awarded a second Golden Shoe of his career on Monday in recognition of the incredible 50 league goals he scored for Barcelona during the 2011/12 campaign.

The Barcelona superstar joins an esteemed list of just nine players to have won the award - which goes to the highest league goalscorer in European football every season - on more than one occasion.

Messi only narrowly prevented Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo from making it a hat-trick of Golden Shoe triumphs, with a La Liga haul four greater than his illustrious counterpart.

Ronaldo trails Messi again in pursuit of glory at the end of the current season, but both are some way ahead of their rivals over the most recent two campaigns combined...

Lionel Messi, Barcelona - 63 goals

Lionel Messi has already scored 13 times in La Liga in 2012/13 to add to his half-century of goals last term to make him the most potent player in Europe's most prominent leagues.

The Argentine's 2011/12 Golden Shoe winning tally beat the competitions previous record, with Dinamo Bucharest striker Dudu Georgescu's having scored 47 goals in 1976/77.

Messi could well break his own record this season, but the next achievement in his sights will be to move past Gerd Muller's achievement of 85 goals in a calendar year for club and country, in all competitions.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid - 57 goals

After missing out on the Golden Shoe, Cristiano Ronaldo is also likely to be overlooked for the Ballon d'Or - despite another 12 months of sensational form.

Ronaldo has found the net 78 times in his last 69 appearances for Real Madrid over the 2011/12 and 2012/13 seasons, with 57 of those strikes coming in La Liga.

The 27-year-old has also scored five times for Portugal in 2012, while Ronaldo has 55 goals in the calendar year for Real Madrid and his country.

 



 

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan / Paris Saint-Germain - 38 goals

Last season was somewhat of an anomaly for Zlatan Ibrahimovic when the Swede's record eight successive league title wins came to an end as Juventus claimed the Scudetto.

Ibrahimovic did, however, end the season as Serie A's top goalscorer and earned himself a high-profile move to Paris Saint-Germain during the summer transfer window.

The 31-year-old has made an immediate impact since his move to French football with ten goals in his first eight Ligue 1 games, to take his 2011/12 and 2012/13 league tally to 38 strikes.

Robin van Persie, Arsenal / Manchester United - 37 goals

Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more goals than Robin van Persie in a single 38-game Premier League season, with the latter managing a haul of 30 last term, compared to the former's 31 in 2007/08.

Van Persie has continued where he left off at Arsenal since his summer transfer to Manchester United, with seven goals making him the league's equal top scorer this campaign.

The 29-year-old scored 37 times in all competitions for Arsenal last season, while his overall record at Manchester United is nine goals in 12 appearances.

Radamel Falcao, Atletico Madrid - 34 goals

Falcao's prolific form this season has seen the Atletico Madrid striker establish himself as the finest goalscorer in the world behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with 13 strikes in his last eight games.

The 26-year-old has netted in all but one of his La Liga outings this term - failing in the opening match of the season - while Falcao destroyed Chelsea with hat-trick in the Super Cup.

Falcao scored 12 times as Atletico Madrid won the Europa League last term, and he found the net 24 times in La Liga.

 




 

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Football
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