The European Golden Shoe is awarded to the highest goal-scorer in European club football. It is a very prestigious trophy, as European club football is the strongest and most competitive in the world. Moreover, it involves high-profile competitions like the Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A and the UEFA Champions League, which means that the eventual winner of this award has to do well in both domestic and continental football.
Several premier forwards and strikers of the world have won this award over the decades. However, very few players have been able to win it while playing for two different clubs.
Here, we take a look at three such players:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo has played for two of the biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United and Real Madrid. He was signed by United as a talented 18-year-old, and used to play as a winger in his initial days with the club. However, he developed into a great goal-scorer over the course of time.
Ruud Van Nistelrooy was United’s main goal-scorer when Ronaldo joined the club. However, he left United in 2006, and Ronaldo started playing in a more direct role for them.
He had a tremendous season in 2007-08, as United won the Champions League and the Premier League titles. Ronaldo scored a staggering 42 goals in that season, including one in the Champions League final against Chelsea. He also won the European Golden Shoe for being the highest goal-scorer in Europe during that season.
Ronaldo left United in 2009 and joined Real Madrid. If he emerged as a great-goal scorer while playing for United, he simply became a ruthless scoring machine at Madrid, and won the European Golden Shoe thrice during his nine seasons with them. The LaLiga defenders had great problems in dealing with his speed, strength and ball skills.
Ronaldo won the Golden Shoe thrice for Madrid - in 2010-11, 2013-14 and 2014-15, scoring 53, 51 and 61 goals respectively. He and his arch-rival Lionel Messi plundered all goal-scoring records by scoring heaps of goals with Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively for nearly a decade.
Ronaldo has also won five Ballon d’Or trophies and five Champions League titles in his glorious career, which makes him one of the most successful footballers of all time.