Top-5 players in the race for the 2019-20 European Golden Shoe 

Lionel Messi has won the Golden Shoe in the last three seasons
Lionel Messi has won the Golden Shoe in the last three seasons

The Golden Shoe is awarded to the top-scoring player in a season across various European football leagues.

It's hardly surprising that the Golden Shoe has been won 10 times in the previous 12 years by Lionel Messi (6) and Cristiano Ronaldo (4) - two of the greatest players of the generation.

During this period, only Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez have won the Golden Shoe for multiple clubs; Ronaldo doing once so for Manchester United and thrice for Real Madrid, and Luis Suarez doing so once apiece for Liverpool and Barcelona. The only player other than Messi, Ronaldo and Suarez to have won the Golden Shoe in the last 12 years is Diego Forlan.

However, not all goals scored carry equal weightage. The Golden Shoe standings take into account the difference in the level of competition in various leagues by employing a multiplier to the goals scored by a player. This multiplier is based on the respective league's ranking based on UEFA co-efficients, which are determined by the performance of that league's clubs in European competitions in the last five seasons.

Thus, goals in the top-5 leagues in Europe have a multiplying factor of 2, leagues ranked 6-21 have a multiplying factor of 1.5 and the rest have a multiplying factor on 1.

On that note, let's take a look at the five most prolific scorers in European league football this season in the race for the coveted Golden Shoe..

Top 5 players in the race for the 2019-20 European Golden Shoe:

5. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus (21 x 2 = 42)

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of a handful of active players to have won the European Golden Shoe.

In 2019-20, Cristiano Ronaldo has defied all expectations and criticism by scoring 21 goals in the league in just 22 appearances. The evergreen Portuguese's form has been instrumental in Juventus' march towards an unprecedented ninth successive Scudetto.

After scoring just five goals in his first ten Serie A games of the season, Ronaldo embarked on a record-equalling 11-game scoring streak (also Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella). During the said run, his hat-trick against Cagliari Calcio made him the first Portugal player to score a Serie A hat-trick.

It was the 56th hat-trick by Ronaldo for club and country, which is more than that of any active player in the game.

Although he failed to score in what would have been a 12th consecutive Serie A game, Ronaldo provided an assist that helped Juventus beat title challengers Internazionale 2-0 at home.

Ronaldo has not won the Golden Shoe since winning his fourth title in 2014-15 after scoring 48 Liga goals for Real Madrid. However, considering his form this season, Ronaldo is a strong contender for the 2019-20 Europen Golden Shoe as he also looks to win the Capocannoniere for the first time since arriving in Serie A last season.

4. Erling Haaland, RB Salzburg & Borussia Dortmund (16 x 1.5 + 10 x 2 = 44)

Erling-Braut Haaland
Erling-Braut Haaland

Without any doubt, Erling-Braut Haaland has been a phenomenon this season. The 19-year-old Norwegian has been breaking all sorts of records with his astronomical goal-scoring this season. Unsurprisingly his 26 league goals this season sees him in the mix for the European Golden Shoe this season.

The teenager scored 16 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga before scoring nine goals for Borussia Dortmund after moving to the Bundesliga club during the winter transfer window.

After his record-breaking run in the Champions League, Haaland has taken to life in the Bundesliga like a duck to water. He scored a hat-trick on his Bundesliga debut against Augsburg.

Haaland has scored a further seven Bundesliga goals for his new club as he looks to become one of the youngest winners of the European Golden Shoe.

3. Timo Werner, RB Leipzig (24 x 2 = 48)

Timo Werner
Timo Werner

Timo Werner has been putting in some consistent performances in recent years with Bundesliga club RB Leipzig. He has been in prolific form again this campaign that has led to him being linked with all the major European teams like Liverpool, Manchester United and Spanish heavyweights Real Madrid.

Werner has been leading RB Leipzig's charge for a first ever Bundesliga title with 21 goals this season in what has been a compelling four-horse race for the title.

The prolific striker has scored Bundesliga hat-tricks against Borussia Moenchengladbach and Mainz (2) as he looks to become the first German winner of the European Golden Shoe since Gerd Muller scored a record 40 goals in 1971-72.

2. Ciro Immobile, Lazio (27 x 2 = 54)

Ciro Immobile
Ciro Immobile

Lazio have been the surprise package in Serie A this season, trailing league leaders Juventus by a solitary point after 26 games. The man who has been instrumental in the Roman club's search for a first Scudetto in two decades is Ciro Immobile.

Immobile has scored a Serie A-leading 27 goals this season apart from providing 7 assists, thus having a direct hand in 34 of the 60 goals his team has scored in the league. To put Immobile's goal contribution into perspective, AC Milan have scored just 28 goals.

His run of nine consecutive scoring games coincided with Lazio embarking on a 21-match unbeaten streak in the Italian top-flight. The Italian is one of the most underrated players in Europe, and yet he continues to defy the odds by sitting above the likes of Ronaldo and Lukaku in the Serie A this season.

With 12 games left in the Serie A season, Immobile trails the Golden Shoe leader by just one goal as he looks to become the first Italian player since Francesco Totti (2006-07) to win the coveted award.

1. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich (29 x 2 = 58)

Robert Lewandowski
Robert Lewandowski

Robert Lewandowski started the 2019-20 season on a tear, becoming the first player to score in the first 11 games of a Bundesliga season.

Thus it's hardly surprising to see this player topping the race for the 2019-20 European Golden Shoe. Lewandowski has been leading the charge for Bayern Munich's quest for a record 8th successive Bundesliga title.

With 29 goals this season, the prolific Pole looks on course to become the Bundesliga top-scorer for a third successive season. With 232 goals, he is already the Bundesliga's highest-scoring foreign player and looks set to break many more records in the near future.

Gerd Muller's record of most goals in a Bundesliga season (40) may be out of Lewandowski's reach this season as only five games remain in the 2019-20 German top-flight. However, the Poland international is well on course to become the first Bundesliga player in over four decades to win the coveted European Golden Shoe.

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