The race to be crowned European Golden Shoe winner for 2022/23 is up and running.
Robert Lewandowski won the last two editions of the award and is seeking to match Lionel Messi (2016-2019) by winning three in a row.
He scored 35 goals for Bayern Munich last season to give him 70 Golden Shoe points and a comfortable European golden boot victory that rarely looked in doubt.
However, having won the last two awards for Bayern, it is Barcelona who Lewandowski is representing this season after his high-profile transfer to La Liga.
One of his main rivals last year, Karim Benzema, is on the other side of the Clasico divide with Real Madrid and their battle will now be even more intriguing with both star strikers playing in Spain’s top flight.
Kylian Mbappe came into the new season as the other most likely contender.
The PSG sensation came second last season with 28 goals in Ligue 1 and will push to make an even stronger challenge in 2022/23.
In the Premier League, Erling Haaland moved to Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in a huge transfer and was immediately installed as favourite to top the English goalscoring charts.
Haaland has impressed and is looking to challenge to score the most goals in Europe for 2022/23 with his new team, with Mohamed Salah – a prolific scorer for Liverpool – another big name to watch in England’s top flight along with Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Premier League top scorers 2022/23: Latest Golden Boot standings
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were not to be ignored either, given that duo have regularly dominated these standings in years gone by – though the latter ended up leaving Man Utd in November.
Surprise contenders have often emerged in the past as well, with former Golden Shoe winner Ciro Immobile now a regular challenger given his remarkable goalscoring consistency for Lazio.
Romelu Lukaku, after returning to Inter, and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic, were among the other notable Serie A candidates as the campaign began.
European Assists King 2022/23: Who leads this season’s creative standings?
This page will be updated throughout the 2022/23 season with regular updates on the European Golden Shoe standings.
2022/23 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE STANDINGS
Haaland holds a five-goal lead in the race to win the European Golden Shoe title, with Lewandowski his closest challenger as the Barcelona star dreams of a third straight success.
Manchester City striker Haaland tops the European golden boot standings with 18 goals in the Premier League, which is the highest total in all of Europe’s five major divisions.
Haaland, though, did not have a vintage month heading into the World Cup.
He had goalless outings as his side suffered defeats against Liverpool and Brentford while also missing the 1-0 victory at Leicester City through injury.
But the Man City star had earlier scored three hat-tricks since moving to England from Dortmund, including a treble as his side thrashed rivals Man Utd 6-3 in the Manchester derby.
That means he still holds a big lead at the top of the standings, helped by his recent stoppage-time penalty which won a dramatic match against Fulham.
Haaland could be on course for a record-breaking season if he remains free of any prolonged injury absences.
And after scoring a cup goal against Liverpool, he is eyeing further Premier League strikes in the upcoming matches against Leeds and Everton.
Despite his sensational start, though, there are now nine other players who have reached double figures for goals, meaning a Haaland triumph is not yet a foregone conclusion.
Barcelona forward Lewandowski is the player sitting second in the battle to score the most goals in Europe for 2022/23.
Lewandowski has netted 13 times in La Liga from only 14 appearances (13 starts).
However, he did not net as Barca beat Almeria 2-0 in La Liga and was then sent off in the first half of his side’s 2-1 win at Osasuna, going another game without a goal.
Lewandowski remains in the running, though, as two goals from the former Bayern striker to help secure a 3-0 win over Villarreal on October 20 were followed by other strikes against Athletic Bilbao and Valencia.
Despite a strong start for his new club Barcelona, Lewandowski still has ground to make up on rampant Man City forward Haaland, with that gap sitting at five goals after the World Cup, which brought about a long break in club action.
Three players are in a tie for third place, including Paris Saint-Germain attacker Kylian Mbappe, who reached 12 Ligue 1 goals by scoring in the 5-0 trashing of Auxerre.
Tottenham forward Harry Kane also remains in contention along with Christopher Nkunku, with that duo locked together with Mbappe on 24 Golden Shoe points.
PSG star Neymar is just one goal behind that group on 11 league strikes for the season so far.
Each member of PSG’s star strike-force has been faring well in the early stages of the Golden Shoe race.
Mbappe’s goal total has come from 14 league appearances, the same tally as team-mate Neymar.
And Lionel Messi has made a fantastic start as well, showing fine form for PSG before hsi World Cup win.
The Argentina star has seven top-flight goals, as well as 10 assists. He scored a fine free-kick in PSG’s 2-1 win over Nice at the start of October and also starred against Ajaccio on October 21, scoring a goal as well as setting up two goals.
Messi’s fine form continued with another goal and assist against Troyes before he missed the Lorient match and went without a goal involvement against Auxerre.
The Bundesliga goalscoring charts, meanwhile, are topped by Nkunku, with Niclas Fullkrug and Marcus Thuram only just behind on 10, the same tally as Brentford star Ivan Toney reached in the Premier League as he downed Man City and Haaland with a double.
Lille attacker Jonathan David is also near the top of the standings in the Golden Shoe charts with nine Ligue 1 goals, putting him level with Aleksandar Mitrovic, who has the same tally in the Premier League.
There is a group on 18 Golden Shoe points that contains the likes of Victor Osimhen and Alexandre Lacazette.
Bologna forward Marko Arnautovic (8 goals) has recently been overtaken by Napoli attacker Osimhen (9 goals) as the top scorer in Serie A.
Osimhen also faces a challenge from Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic and Lazio’s Ciro Immobile who have 6 strikes each to their names this season, while Inter’s Lautaro Martinez is now faring better than that duo after moving up to 7 goals.
Not all of the pre-season contenders are faring well in the early Golden Shoe standings.
Mohamed Salah is further down the standings than normal, as he only has six Premier League goals so far for Liverpool, however he has netted 10 goals in his last 10 matches across all competitions in an impressive recent turnaround.
You have to go down to the group of players on five goals and 10 Golden Shoe points before you find Real Madrid great Karim Benzema, whose cause this season has not been helped by some ill-timed injury absences.
Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, only opened his account for the Premier League season on October 9, and that strike at Everton was his sole goal in domestic action for Man Utd before his departure.
The Premier League returns on Boxing Day, with most of Europe’s other major leagues not far behind – Barcelona face rivals Espanyol on December 31.
For the time being our table below tracking the European Golden Shoe standings will only list players from the top five European leagues, where the winner is most likely to emerge from.
Players from outside the top five leagues in Europe are eligible to win the Golden Shoe, but the winner has not come from one of those divisions since 2002.
2022/23 European Golden Shoe
|Erling Haaland (Man City)||18||36|
|Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)||13||26|
|Kylian Mbappe (PSG)||12||24|
|Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)||12||24|
|Harry Kane (Tottenham)||12||24|
|Marcus Thuram (Gladbach)||10||20|
|Ivan Toney (Brentford)||10||20|
|Terem Moffi (Lorient)||10||20|
|Niclas Fullkrug (Werder Bremen)||10||20|
|Jonathan David (Lille)||9||18|
|Victor Osimhen (Napoli)||9||18|
|Jamal Musiala (Bayern)||9||18|
|Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)||9||18|
|Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg)||9||18|
|Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham)||9||18|
|Borja Iglesias (Betis)||8||16|
|Vedat Muriqi (Mallorca)||8||16|
|Serge Gnabry (Bayern)||8||16|
|Martin Terrier (Rennes)||8||16|
|Marko Arnautovic (Bologna)||8||16|
|Folarin Balogun (Reims)||8||16|
|Miguel Almiron (Newcastle)||8||16|
|Lionel Messi (PSG)||7||14|
|Lois Openda (Lens)||7||14|
|Iago Aspas (Celta)||7||14|
|Daichi Kamada (Frankfurt)||7||14|
|Leandro Trossard (Brighton)||7||14|
|Mama Balde (Troyes)||7||14|
|Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)||7||14|
|Phil Foden (Man City)||7||14|
|Sheraldo Becker (Union Berlin)||7||14|
|Lautaro Martinez (Inter)||7||14|
|Florian Sotoca (Lens)||6||12|
|Ciro Immobile (Lazio)||6||12|
|Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)||6||12|
|Vinicius Junior (Real Madrid)||6||12|
|Dusan Vlahovic (Juventus)||6||12|
|Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (Napoli)||6||12|
|Sadio Mane (Bayern)||6||12|
|Gabriel Jesus (Arsenal)||5||10|
|Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)||5||10|
|Son Heung-min (Tottenham)||3||6|
Who won the European Golden Shoe – Previous Winners
Lionel Messi has won the most European Golden Shoe titles.
The PSG forward has triumphed on six occasions, most recently in 2018/19 for Barcelona.
Cristiano Ronaldo is his closest challenger with four career wins, though the Man Utd attacker has not come out on top since 2014/15 when he was at Real Madrid.
Robert Lewandowski’s triumph last year means there are now 10 players who have two awards apiece, a list that also includes Luis Suarez and Thierry Henry.
Messi holds the record for most goals and points in a season as well. He remarkably scored 50 goals in 2011/12, earning himself 100 points.
Ronaldo has come closest to breaking that, scoring 48 goals for 96 points when he last won the crown more than seven years ago.
Argentina forward Messi is the only player in European Golden Shoe history to win the title three years in a row, doing so from 2016/17 until 2018/19.
Ronaldo, though, is one of only four players to have won the title with different clubs. The others are Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Mario Jardel.
Lewandowski became the first Bundesliga winner since 1972 with the first of his two triumphs in the 2020/21 season, with his remarkable 41 goals from 29 games being the best goal tally since 2015.
That came after Ciro Immobile won the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, scoring 36 goals for Lazio in a tremendous Serie A season.
It was his first title, with the striker becoming the first Serie A player to have the most goals in Europe since Francesco Totti triumphed for Lazio’s rivals Roma in 2006/07.
Ligue 1 has not produced a winner since Josip Skoblar in 1971, a statistic the likes of Messi and Mbappe are hoping to change soon.
Recent Golden Shoe Winners
|2021/22||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||35/70|
|2020/21||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||41/82|
|2014/15||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||48/96|
What are the European Golden Shoe rules and weightings?
Only league goals are eligible for the European Golden Shoe, with each strike earning points in a weighted system depending on the quality of league.
The five elite leagues – Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 – all carry a weighting of 2, meaning that a player will be awarded two points for every goal they score in these competitions.
For the leagues ranked sixth to 21 in Uefa’s coefficients rankings – which includes the top-flights in Portugal, Netherlands and Russia – goals scored are given a weighting of 1.5, and goals scored in a league outside the top 21 are given a weighting of 1.
That was not always the case in the European Golden Shoe. From 1968 until 1991, the award simply went to the highest goalscorer on the continent, regardless of the strength of league.
Awards were not initially handed out between 1991 until 1996, when the new system came into force. Since then, only two players playing outside what were the five highest-ranked leagues at the time have ever won the Golden Shoe – Henrik Larsson (2000/01) and Mario Jardel (2001/02).
The Golden Shoe has been tied in the past, most recently when Suarez and Ronaldo shared the honour in 2013/14. Going forward, though, the award will be given to the player who has played the fewest minutes if two of them end up on the same number of points.
This page covers the 2022/23 European Golden Shoe race.