Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo miss out on top two of current Golden Shoe rankings

Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga

When it comes to pure goalscoring, there are few accolades that compare to the European Golden Shoe.

Aggregating the performances of strikers across Europe, it serves to crown the most prolific forward every season and fights to mathematically consider the difficulty of each player's league.

As a result, it's often players residing in the top five leagues that collect the award and like many other individual accolades, it has become a battleground for Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

And while Ronaldo has been hoovering up the Ballon d'Or titles over the last half-decade, Messi has been running away with proceedings as far as the Golden Shoe is concerned.

Ronaldo first won the accolade during his time at Manchester United, scoring 31 goals across the 2007-08 campaign, and would later recoup the title in 2011 and 2015.

The European Golden Shoe

The 33-year-old had to share the plaudits with Luis Suarez during the 2014 iteration but it still doesn't elevate his tally to the same heights of Messi.

Messi has won the award in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017 and collected the most recent trophy just a matter of weeks ago, having scored 34 goals across last season.

Pretty impressive stuff and you'd bet good money on one of the two superstars collecting the award next summer, even if players like Suarez and even Diego Forlan have caused an upset before.


The current standings in 2018/19

And with 2018 drawing to a close and league seasons reaching their interval, it marks an interesting point to assess the very latest standings for the European Golden Shoe.

It gives football fans an intriguing perspective on the rankings around the halfway stage, even if marking a midpoint across all the European leagues is nigh on impossible.

A lot can change in the proceeding five months but it seems neither Messi nor Ronaldo are on course to be adding to their collection in 2019.

Per Spanish publication Sport, the current standings read:

1. Liliu (Nomme Kalju) - 31 points
2. Mbaye Diagne (Kasimpasa) - 30 points
3. Leo Messi (Barcelona) - 30 points
4. Zakaria Beglarishvili (Flora Tallinn) - 30 points
5. Paulinho (BK Hacken) - 30 points
6. Patrick Hoban (FC Dundalk) - 29 points
7. Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus) - 28 points
8. Nikolay Komlichenko (FK Mladá Boleslav) - 27 points
9. Robert Skov (Copenhague) - 27 points
10. Roman Debelko (FCI Levadia) - 27 points
11. Linus Hallenius (GIF Sundsvall) - 27 points
12. Kylian Mbappé (PSG) - 26 points
13. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) - 26 points
14. Krzysztof Piatek (Genoa) - 26 points
15. Harry Kane (Tottenham) - 26 points

Ah yes, everybody's favourite striker: Liliu.

We are of course joking and the players in the Estonian division have an advantage at this stage, even if the 31 goals amassed by Liliu is still an impressive achievement.

Certain leagues have already concluded, while the top 5 divisions in which Messi and Ronaldo are housed still have five months to play.

Those familiar with the rules of the Golden Shoe will know that those playing in England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany receive double points compared to those competing elsewhere.

Atalanta BC v Juventus - Serie A

So, as bizarre as it may seem that Messi and Ronaldo are third and seventh, they're well in the running to claim the award before summer arrives.

Nevertheless, players like Mbappe, Aubameyang, Kane and Mohamed Salah are hot on their trails, just a few points away from firing themselves into contention.

It's going to be an interesting battle to say the least.

Who do you think will win the 2019 European Golden Shoe? Have your say in the comments section below.

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