Top Contenders for the European Golden Shoe: May 2019

The race for the European Golden Shoe is on!
The race for the European Golden Shoe is on!

The business end of the season is gradually approaching and the race for the 2018/19 European Golden Shoe is also getting keener. With just a month to the end of the season, it is fair to say that everything is shaping up perfectly.

Perennial winners like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are still in the running, but it is the Argentine who has stolen an early march. While Ronaldo is still dominating the Serie A, the Portuguese has a lot of catching up to do after dropping out of the top 10 leading goal scorers in Europe.

Meanwhile, there are also a couple of new faces who have stood out in their respective leagues and are challenging for the European Golden Shoe.

As we begin the month of May, let’s take a look at the top 10 contenders for the 2018/2019 European Golden Shoe award:

(Note: This ranking is based on goals scored by players in only Europe’s top five leagues and, should players have the same number of goals, their assists will be used to decide who stays top of the other.)


#10 Nicolas Pepe (20 goals – 40 points)

Nicolas Pepe has been a revelation in Ligue 1 this season
Nicolas Pepe has been a revelation in Ligue 1 this season

For the fourth month running, Nicolas Pepe has made the list of top 10 contenders of the European Golden Shoe award. The Lille forward has been one of the revelations in Ligue 1 this season, churning out impressive performance after performance.

The 23-year-old has scored 20 league goals this season, putting him second on the Ligue 1 scoring charts. He slightly edges out Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the European Golden Shoe (both players have 20 goals, but Pepe has 11 assists to Ronaldo’s eight.)

With just a few weeks to the end of the season, it is unlikely that Pepe will emerge top scorer in Europe, but he can definitely improve his numbers further.

#9 Krzysztof Piatek (21 goals – 42 points)

Krzysztof Piatek has scored 21 Serie A goals this season
Krzysztof Piatek has scored 21 Serie A goals this season

One of the most talked about talents in Europe this season is Krzysztof Piatek. The young Polish striker has taken the Serie A by storm and hasn’t looked back since joining AC Milan in January.

The striker was a revelation at Genoa but his continuous growth at the San Siro has been remarkable, to say the least. Piatek is among the top scorers in Serie A, having netted 21 goals this season.

The AC Milan forward is currently 9th in the race for the European Golden Shoe and is bound to court a lot of suitors come the end of the season.

#8 Karim Benzema (21 goals – 42 points)

Karim Benzema has been in sensational form this season
Karim Benzema has been in sensational form this season

One of the new entrants in the European Golden Shoe race is Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema. The Frenchman is risen to become the main man at the Bernabeu and is the club’s main source of goals this season.

The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo seems to have benefitted Benzema, who has now impressively scored 21 league goals this season and further contributed five assists. This is the striker’s highest goal return in recent years, compared to last season when he scored just five in the league.

Whiles Real Madrid are still currently not at their best, Benzema is one of the brightest spots at the club, in a year where Los Blancos are set to go trophy-less.

#7 Luis Suarez (21 goals – 42 points)

Luis Suarez is only behind Lionel Messi in terms of La Liga goals
Luis Suarez is only behind Lionel Messi in terms of La Liga goals

Luis Suarez is one of just three players from La Liga who are in the hunt for the 2018-19 European Golden Shoe. The Uruguayan has not had the best of campaigns, by his own standards, but is still one of the highest scorers in Europe.

In Spain, he is only behind Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi when it comes to league goals scored this season. Suarez has netted 21 goals and contributed six assists in La Liga.

The 32-year-old is likely to add to his tally before the season ends, although it looks unlikely that he will surpass Messi’s goals.

#6 Duvan Zapata (21 goals – 42 points)

Duvan Zapata has netted 21 Serie A goals this season
Duvan Zapata has netted 21 Serie A goals this season

The Serie A has the most number of players in the list of top 10 contenders for the European Golden Shoe award and one of those is Duvan Zapata.

The Atalanta striker is also a new entrant but has done enough in the last one month to even outscore the ever-impressive Cristiano Ronaldo in the league.

Zapata has netted 21 Serie A goals and also has seven assists to his name, putting in above his other competitors with the same number goals in Europe’s other top leagues. The striker may be unknown, but his exploits in the Italian topflight make him one of the best in Europe this season.

#5 Robert Lewandowski (21 goals – 42 points)

Robert Lewandowski is back among Europe's top scorers
Robert Lewandowski is back among Europe's top scorers

Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski is 5th on the list of top contenders for this year’s European Golden Shoe award. The Polish striker had a poor start to the season, but has come in very strong in recent weeks.

Lewandowski’s upturn in form has aided Bayern to usurp Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table. The 32-year-old is top-scorer in the German topflight with 21 goals and also has seven assists to his name.

Lewandowski may be far off from winning the European Golden Shoe award, but claiming the Bundesliga top-scorer gong is definitely within his reach.

#4 Mohamed Salah (21 goals – 42 points)

Mohamed Salah is top-scorer in the Premier League with 21 goals
Mohamed Salah is top-scorer in the Premier League with 21 goals

Liverpool star Mohamed Salah may have been snubbed in the PFA Team of The Year, but there is no doubt he is still the most lethal forward in the Premier League currently.

The Egypt international also had a quiet start to the season, but has gradually found his feet as the Reds aim to win a first league title in three decades.

Salah is the top scorer in the Premier League with 21 goals, with eight more assists to his name. He is, however, closely followed by teammate Saido Mane and Sergio Aguero, who are both on 20 league goals.

#3 Fabio Quagliarella (23 goals – 46 points)

Fabio Quagliarella is outscoring Cristiano Ronaldo in the Serie A
Fabio Quagliarella is outscoring Cristiano Ronaldo in the Serie A

The most surprising player on the list of top contenders for the European Golden Shoe award is definitely Fabio Quagliarella. At 36, the striker is still growing stronger and is currently the top scorer in the Serie A.

The Sampdoria forward has netted 23 Serie A goals – three more than Cristiano Ronaldo – and has also contributed eight assists.

He may not be getting the praise he deserves, but Quagliarella has earned his place as the third most lethal striker in Europe currently.

#2 Kylian Mbappe (30 goals – 60 points)

Kylian Mbappe has scored 30 league goals this season 
Kylian Mbappe has scored 30 league goals this season

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is running Lionel Messi close in the race for the European Golden Shoe award. In fact, it is fair to say it has now become a two-horse race.

The young Frenchman has impressively netted 30 Ligue 1 goals this season, making him the league’s top scorer. He is, however, still short on becoming the top-scorer in Europe.

Mbappe remains PSG’s main man, having had to bail out the Parisians many times following the injury to Neymar. The 20-year-old is definitely the best player in the Ligue 1 and remains the only player who can challenge Messi for the European Golden Shoe.

#1 Lionel Messi (34 goals – 68 points)

Lionel Messi leads the race for the European Golden Shoe with 34 goals
Lionel Messi leads the race for the European Golden Shoe with 34 goals

For the fourth month running, Lionel Messi leads the race for the European Golden Shoe award. The Barcelona star is aiming to emerge top scorer in Europe for the sixth time in his career.

Messi has won the European Golden Shoe in each of the last three seasons and is in pole position to make it a fourth successive triumph.

The Argentine has scored 34 goals in La Liga this season – four clear of Kylian Mbappe who is second in the race for the European Golden Shoe. It is definitely Messi’s to lose with just a few games to the end of the season.

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