Top 10 contenders for the European Golden Shoe
The business end of the 2017/18 season is fast approaching and it heightens the hunt for silverware, both trophies, and individual awards. Among the awards, winning the European Golden Shoe is a massive personal achievement for every goalscorer.
Formerly known as the European Golden Boot, the award was bestowed upon the highest goalscorer amongst all leagues in Europe by French magazine, L'Equipe, between 1968 and 1991. After a brief hiatus, European Sports Media took over in 1996 and the selection criteria now take the toughness of the league into consideration.
Thus, a player from a tougher league can win the league despite scoring fewer goals. The leagues are ranked based on their UEFA coefficients, which are calculated based on the performances of clubs in a particular league in European club competitions for the past 5 years. Thus, goals scored by players in the top 5 leagues are multiplied by a factor of two, goals scored in leagues ranked 6 to 21 fetch a multiplication factor of 1.5 and goals scored in leagues ranked beyond 21 have a multiplication factor of 1.
Hence, the European Golden Shoe is won by the highest goalscorer, taking several factors into consideration. This season has seen several marksmen doing well to give themselves a chance to win the coveted prize and let's take a look at the top 10 contenders for the crown come May.
#10 Jonas- 37.5 points
Ever since the new scoring system was introduced in 1996, only Henrik Larsson has won the Golden Shoe playing for a team outside of the top 5 leagues. Now, Benfica's Jonas Goncalves Oliveira is trying to emulate the former Celtic man and already has 25 goals in the Primeira Liga, more than any other player on this list.
The 33-year old is set to beat his personal best of 32 league goals, which he scored in the 2015/16 season if he continues in the same vein. The only downside for Jonas is that the Primeira Liga is outside Europe's top 5 leagues at the moment and hence, every goal is only multiplied by a factor of 1.5.
Thus, the Brazilian has to continue scoring at the current rate to win the award and on the evidence of current form, he can definitely do so.