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Top 5 European Golden Shoe contenders

Robin Bairner
Top 5 / Top 10
11.57K   //    11 Aug 2017, 20:51 IST

Arsenal FC v Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Champions League
Edinson Cavani

One of the most hotly contested individual honours over the course of the season is the European Golden Shoe, which rewards the best goal scorer on the continent.

Any top-flight professional footballer in any league can win the prize, though each league is weighted. In the best leagues – Spain, Germany, England, Italy and France – each strike is worth two points, in intermediate leagues 1.5 points and in the smallest leagues only a single point.

In practice, it will be a stellar name who wins the gong, which was claimed by Lionel Messi last season after he netted 37 times, accumulating a total of 74 points.

Here are the five leading contenders to win the prize this time around:

#5 Edinson Cavani

Although Edinson Cavani finished a distant ninth in the standings last season, the Uruguay international has to be considered among the front runners to lift the trophy this season – if not the favourite.

The reason has nothing to do with Neymar’s arrival at Paris Saint-Germain, which may take some of the goalscoring edge off his game, but that fact that France’s move up the UEFA coefficient list means that each of his goals is now worth 2 points as opposed to the 1.5 he got last season.

If that had been the case last season, he would have finished second behind Lionel Messi by only four points – a gap the 30-year-old will feel he should be able to close given his club’s lavish summer investment, which may continue in the next three weeks.

PSG are set to be more attacking than ever – and that can only be of benefit to their prolific centre forward, who is coming off his best season ever.

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Robin Bairner
UK-based freelance football journalist for the last decade, I've appeared in publications such as the Guardian, the Blizzard, When Saturday Comes, but can most frequently be found on I write about European football, and have worked at both World Cup 2014 and Euro 2016.
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