Top Contenders for European Golden Shoe: March 2019
It is a generally held view that strikers are the most sought after position in football due to their unique ability to master the art of goalscoring and the more frequently one does it, the pricier they become.
Scoring is the aim of every football match (no one wants to spend time watching a dour goalless draw), as goals win matches, points and trophies. For this reason, the goalscorers are placed in such a high premium.
There are numerous awards designed to reward goalscorers, with Golden Boots (not always Golden) being the most frequent. However, the most prestigious of all Golden Boot awards in Europe is arguably the European Golden Shoe, as it shows superiority over all other forwards not just in any domestic league, but throughout the continent.
Lionel Messi is the current holder of the award, after winning it for a record fifth time at the end of last season, while previous winners include the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez, Francesco Totti, Thierry Henry, Diego Forlan, Ronaldo de Lima, Romario and Marco Van Basten.
Having entered the business end of the campaign, the race is beginning to narrow down and we now have a clearer picture of the race. In this piece, we present the top 10 candidates in the race for the 2019 European Golden Shoe.
Note - All stats correct as of March 3, 2019
#10 Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
League - Spanish LaLiga (X2)
16 GOALS (32 POINTS)
Luis Suarez is no stranger to winning Golden Boots, having done so in the Eredivisie, the Premier League and La Liga (the only man to achieve this feat), while he is also a two-time winner of the European Golden Shoe.
The Uruguayan international started this season slowly, leading many to call for his replacement, but he has since settled into form. He was the architect behind Barcelona's 5-1 dismantling of eternal rivals Real Madrid in October, with his hat-trick costing Julen Lopetegui his job as Madrid boss (in the process, he became the first player other than Messi to record a Clasico hat-trick since Romario in 1994).
In the month of February, the 32-year-old scored one goal from four La Liga matches to add to his previous 15 and help Barcelona maintain a healthy seven-point gap atop the standings and keep up their quest for a unique treble this season.