Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leads the 2015/16 Golden Shoe race

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The Golden Shoe is one of those awards that no one apart from the man who wins it really cares about. That man is invariably Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, but as the season's midway point arrives across Europe, the juggernauts of football are nowhere to be seen in the current race.

Ronaldo and Messi have, between them, taken the trophy home on six of the last seven occasions. Luis Suarez, then of Liverpool, is the only man able to gatecrash their two-man party in 2014.

But, while it would be foolish to rule both the Real Madrid and Barcelona superstars out, it looks as though we will be crowning a brand new winner in 2016.


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As a result, the Golden Shoe has finally got interesting again, so we thought we'd celebrate by updating you on the current race and attempt to explain the odd system that owners European Sports Media (ESM) use to calculate Europe's deadliest hitman.

The rules

The first thing you need to know about the Golden Shoe is that, according to it, not all goals are born equal. Scoring in the Premier League is deemed much more impressive than a goal scored in, say, Lithuania's A Lyga.

And the sly dogs at ESM know this. They don't want Emile Heskey heading to Scandanavia just to bag himself 30 goals and snatching the illustrious...thing, so they've guarded against it. Basically, depending on the difficulty of the league, each goal is multiplied by a prerequisite multiple of either 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0.

The top five leagues in Europe (Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga, La Liga, Primeira Liga) are the only ones to be given the 2.0 rating meaning, for example, Jamie Vardy's 15 Premier League goals give him 30 points in the race.

The Top 10

The leaders

As you can see, Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is not the top scorer in Europe, but thanks to the Bundesliga's high level of competition, his 18 goals give him a slight advantage over Alex Teixeira of Shakhtar Donetsk.

Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain stands an excellent chance of catching him, especially if his current form continues. He has scored seven goals in his last five Serie A outings, proving he is still amongst the best strikers in the world despite not being at one of the best clubs.

Jamie Vardy, who leads the race for the Premier League's Golden Boot, has plenty of work to do if he is to keep pace with the leaders, but, proving how impressive he has been this season, the Leicester striker is currently sitting alongside Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski in fifth.

Where the heck are Messi and Ronaldo?

Well, after spending two months injured on the sidelines, Messi does not even make the top 50, meaning we simply can't tell you as the official home of the Golden Shoe only goes down to there. He has a modest five goals in ten La Liga outings this season, leaving him three short of breaking into the current top 50.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, isn't too far off the pace in 16th place. He has 12 goals in La Liga goals this season. If only Champions League goals counted – he has 11 of those already.

No Golden Shoe for you, Mr Messi. Give it back...

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La Liga
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo
Primeira Liga

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