European Golden Shoe: Top 5 Contenders so far
The European Golden Shoe is awarded to the highest goalscorer in league matches from the top division of every European country's national league. Lionel Messi, as expected, is the record-winner of the coveted prize with five wins, while his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award four times. The prize was first constituted in the 1967-68 season and was initially given out by the French magazine L'Équipe. Since the 1996-97 season, however, the prize has been awarded by the European Sports Media , an association of football related publications from across Europe.
Till the 1996-97 reason, the prize was given based on absolute number of goals scored, with no regard to the relative strengths of each league and the number of games played. From the 1996-97 revamp, however, the award was given away on the basis of a points system. Weightages are assigned to various leagues depending on the respective league's rankings as per UEFA coefficients. For example, La Liga has a weightage of two, which means Messi's every league goal is worth two points, while the Dutch Eridivise weighs in at 1.5, which implies that every goal Ajax's Dusan Tadic scores in the league is worth 1.5 points.
This season has seen a flurry of goals in the various leagues in Europe. From Robert Lewandowski, Timo Werner, Paco Alcacer and Luka Jovic in Germany to Mohammed Salah, Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sadio Mane in England to Messi, Luis Suarez, Karim Benzema and Wissam Ben Yedder in Spain to Ronaldo, Fabio Quagliarella, Duvan Zapata and Krzysztof Piatek in Italy. Many star names are battling it out for this top honour. With most European leagues drawing to a close in the coming weeks, in this article we will take a look at the top five contenders for Europe's top goalscoring accolade.