European Golden Shoe

European Golden Shoe 2021/22: Benzema ups the pressure on Lewandowski after Real Madrid double

The Bayern striker has still scored the most goals from Europe's top five leagues so far this campaign, but he is being challenged.

Benzema was at the double against Valencia Benzema was at the double against Valencia
8:33pm on Monday 10th January 2022
Team FC

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.

Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski saw off the challenge of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to finish at the top of the European Golden Shoe rankings last season.

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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.

Manchester United star Ronaldo and Messi – who has moved from Barcelona to PSG – both entered the new campaign expecting to challenge again in the standings for the most goals in Europe.

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Messi’s PSG team-mate Kylian Mbappe and a fellow young star in Erling Haaland were also expected to be in the mix to top the Golden Shoe rankings and take the crown from Lewandowski.

Along with Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah started the season as the top Premier League candidates, though surprise winners have also emerged in the past.

Keep an eye on this page throughout the 2021/22 season for regular updates on the European Golden Shoe standings.


Robert Lewandowski leads the race for the European Golden Shoe title and still sits three goals clear of his main competition.

Seeking a second consecutive title, Lewandowski has 20 goals from 18 Bundesliga matches in 2021/22, having netted four times in his last three outings.

Bayern returned to action after the wInter break against Gladbach on Friday and while they lost 2-1, it was the star striker who got their goal.

Lewandowski will be aware he has two rivals tied on 17 goals and 34 Golden Shoe points lurking behind him.

Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema – the top scorer in Spain - is a top candidate to claim glory this season and now sits in a tie for second after scoring twice in the 4-1 win over Valencia.

It was the France forward’s second double in three games, having also scored twice against Athletic just before Christmas.

Patrik Schick, who netted in Leverkusen’s 2-2 draw with Union Berlin, remains close to Lewandowski in the Bundesliga goal charts and the Golden Shoe standings.

Premier League Golden Boot leader Mohamed Salah is at the AFCON with Egypt while Dusan Vlahovic, who sits top of the Serie A scoring charts, lost ground after being scoreless as Fiorentina were thumped 4-0 by Torino on Monday.

Former Golden Shoe winner Ciro Immobile remains in contention for a second crown.

The Lazio striker has moved on to 15 goals for the 2021/22 season after scoring against Empoli and Inter in his last two outings.

There are some star players at Paris Saint-Germain this season but it is Lille’s Jonathan David who tops the Ligue 1 scoring charts on 12 goals, putting him in a tie for eighth in these standings.

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.

2021/22 European Golden Shoe

Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich2040
Karim BenzemaReal Madrid1734
Patrik SchickBayer Leverkusen1734
Dusan VlahovicFiorentina1632
Mohamed SalahLiverpool1632
Ciro ImmobileLazio1530
Erling HaalandDortmund1326
Giovanni SimeoneCagliari1224
Jonathan DavidLille1224
Anthony ModesteFC Koln1224
Vinicius JuniorReal Madrid1224
Lautaro MartinezInter1122
JuanmiReal Betis1122
Diogo JotaLiverpool1020
Wissam Ben YedderMonaco1020
Iago AspasCelta1020

Who are the previous European Golden Shoe 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.

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.

Robert Lewandowski became the first Bundesliga winner since 1972 last season, with his 41 goals being the best tally for six seasons.

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.

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.

Last season’s standings can be found here and if you want to see the final results for the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, follow this link.

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