The 2021/22 European Golden Shoe race is under way, with the continent’s most prolific goalscorers all vying to win one of football’s most prestigious individual awards.
Lewandowski scored an astonishing 41 league goals from 29 appearances, giving him 82 Golden Shoe points and the highest winning score since Ronaldo in 2014/15.
Keep an eye on this page throughout the 2021/22 season for regular updates on the European Golden Shoe standings.
2021/22 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE STANDINGS
Lewandowski continues his stranglehold on the lead out of the leagues with a 2.0 coefficient, but it was a rare week where the Pole failed to fire for Bayern Munich.
The German champions scraped by Bielefeld 1-0, with Lewandowski drawing a blank for the first time in seven matches for club and country.
Salah also remained unmoved, failing to capitalise on Lewa's goalless showing. The Egyptian couldn't strike at Anfield despite Liverpool lashing four past Southampton, but he still leads the Premier League golden boot with 11 goals.
Karim Benzema and Dusan Vlahovic joined Salah as Lewandowski's closest rivals after both finding the net on the weekend.
Vlahovic scored the first goal of the match but couldn't stop Fiorentina from crumbling to defeat at Empoli, while it was the opposite story for Benzema as he helped Real Madrid win 2-1 after being behind against Sevilla.
Even though he hadn't played in over a month, Haaland took only seven minutes after coming off the bench to make an impact in his return for Borussia Dortmund.
A brilliant outstretched finish took the Norwegian into double figures for the season, and also made him both the youngest player to reach 50 Bundesliga goals and the player to reach the milestone in the fewest amount of matches.
Behind them, Jamie Vardy scored twice to move onto nine goals for the season and help Leicester see off Watford, while Vinicius Junior also hit his ninth of the campaign with the winner for Real Madrid against Sevilla.
Giovanni Simeone, Duvan Zapata and Gaetan Laborde all sit on nine while the likes of Wissam Ben Yedder, Memphis Depay and Patrik Schick all have eight.
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.
Away from those leagues, Partizan forward Ricardo Gomes has scored a superb 18 goals in as many games, while Michael Frey has 15 in 16 for Royal Antwerp.
Some leagues are much further on in their seasons and the major competitions still have a lot of catching up to do.
Of the players in those countries where the season started earlier, Mikkel Dahl of HB Torshavn has 27 goals in 25 games in the Faroe Islands, while Molde winger Ohi Omoijuanfo moved to 25 goals at the weekend and Henri Anier of Piade in Estonia has hit the net 24 times so far.
2021/22 European Golden Shoe
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||14||28|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||11||22|
|Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||9||18|
|Vinicius Junior||Real Madrid||9||18|
|Patrik Schick||Bayer Leverkusen||8||16|
|Anthony Modeste||1. FC Koln||8||16|
|Taiwo Awoniyi||Union Berlin||8||16|
Who are the previous European Golden Shoe winners?
Lionel Messi has won the most European Golden Shoe titles.
Nine players have two awards apiece, including 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 six 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.
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.
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 outwith 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 2021/22 European Golden Shoe race.