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
The Poland International was on hand to help his side to a convincing victory over Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga, while Salah bagged no less than three goals in a famous victory for Liverpool at Old Trafford against Manchester United.
After that there is a five-way tussle between Edin Dzeko, Taiwo Awoniyi, Jamie Vary, Jonathan David and Gaetan Laborder on seven goals each.
Anthony Modeste also joins the list of Europe’s top strikers after his contributions to Koln’s 2-2 draw with Leverkusen on Saturday.
Lionel Messi and Harry Kane, meanwhile, have just one league goal between them this season, meaning their chances of achieving glory already look slim given the advantage the likes of Benzema, Lewandowski, Haaland and Salah have built up over the early weeks of the campaign.
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.
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, Molde winger Ohi Omoijuanfo, who has 24 goals and 36 points from 22 matches, leads the early standings.
2021/22 European Golden Shoe
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||10||20|
|Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||9||18|
|Patrik Schick||Bayer Leverkusen||8||16|
|Taiwo Awoniyi||Union Berlin||7||14|
|Mikel Oyarzabal||Real Sociedad||6||12|
|Giovanni Simeone||Hellas Verona||6||12|
|Michail Antonio||West Ham||6||12|
|Luis Suarez||Atletico Madrid||6||12|
|Serge Gnabry||Bayern Munich||6||12|
|Mohamed Bayo||Clermont Foot||6||12|
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.