In many ways, the 2020-21 season has been a strange one, but a lot of the usual suspects continue to defy their age to remain in the running for the European Golden Shoe award.
Every year the Golden Shoe is presented to Europe’s deadliest striker, with players receiving points for each goal they score. Goals in Europe’s toughest leagues are multiplied by a co-efficient of two, whereas goals scored in weaker leagues are multiplied by coefficients of either 1.5 or one.
We’ve rounded up the top 10 strikers currently leading the race for the 2020-21 European Golden Shoe.
10. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Like a fine wine, Ibrahimovic just keeps getting better with age, spearheading AC Milan’s pursuit of the Serie A title this season.
The 39-year-old is tied on 14 goals with Ciro Immobile, Wout Weghorst and Bruno Fernandes, but he’s played the fewest minutes by far. With 1.3 goals per 90 minutes, he actually has the same rate of goalscoring as the player that currently tops this list.
9. Lionel Messi
Six-time European golden shoe winner Messi actually had a comparatively slow start to the season, with just seven goals before Christmas.
However, since the turn of the year the Barcelona icon is once again one of European football’s most lethal goalscorers, with eight goals in his last five La Liga appearances, taking his total tally to 15. That’s some ominous momentum for those above him in this season.
8. Erling Haaland
After enjoying an incredible breakout 2019-20 campaign with Red Bull Salzburg and Borussia Dortmund, Haaland has already proved that he’s no one-season wonder.
The Norway international has scored 15 goals in 15 Bundesliga starts, not to mention the six in four he managed in the Champions League group stage. The fact that Dortmund have been floundering this season makes the 20-year-old’s individual stats even more impressive.
7. Romelu Lukaku
Since leaving Manchester United for Inter Milan in 2019, Lukaku has rediscovered his best form and continues to prove his doubters wrong.
After equalling Ronaldo’s record of 34 goals in all competitions in his debut season for the club, his 2020-21 tally currently stands at 16 goals in 21 Serie A appearances.
That puts the Belgium international on 32 points at the time of writing.
6. Luis Suarez
La Liga’s top goalscorer with 16 goals, one ahead of his old mate Messi, Suarez is firing Atletico Madrid to a title charge this season.
The Uruguayan has scored 36% of Atleti’s league goals this season. Barcelona have made some baffling decisions in recent seasons but allowing such a proven goalscorer to go to a direct rival for peanuts takes the biscuit.
5. Kylian Mbappe
Given he’s already scored close to 150 goals at senior level for club and country and has a World Cup and three Ligue 1 titles on his CV, it’s easy to forget that Kylian Mbappe is still just 22 years old.
The France international’s 16 Ligue 1 goals for PSG in 2020-21 have been scored at a quite frightening rate of one every 95.4 minutes.
4. Cristiano Ronaldo
Twelve-and-a-half years after first winning this award, Ronaldo has shown no signs of slowing down and is looking for his fourth Golden Shoe.
The Juventus forward is currently on 32 points (16 Serie A goals) in the Golden Shoe rankings and also scored more league goals than any other player in 2020.
Not bad for a 36-year-old.
3. Mohamed Salah
Salah has upheld exceptional standards since joining Liverpool in 2017, scoring 73 Premier League goals across his first three full seasons with the club.
2020-21 looks like it will be no exception, with 17 goals from 23 appearances so far. In spite of Liverpool’s struggles this season, their Egyptian King has been prolific as ever.
— REVEAL (@RevealFooty) February 12, 2021
2. Andre Silva
When we last updated this list back in December, Eintracht Frankfurt’s Andre Silva was nowhere to be found, so for him to be the second top scorer in Europe’s top five leagues shows how prolific he’s been in 2021.
The Portuguese forward has scored nine goals in his last seven Bundesliga appearances, taking his total tally for 18 for the season.
1. Robert Lewandowski
Despite scoring 55 goals in all competitions for Bayern Munich in 2019-20, Lewandowski has refused to rest on his laurels this season.
The 32-year-old has netted 25 goals in 20 Bundesliga appearances, including a four-goal haul in Bayern’s 4-3 win over Hertha Berlin in September.
If he avoids any injury problems and maintains this form for the rest of the season, there’s every chance he breaks Gerd Muller’s legendary 40-goal haul for a single Bundesliga campaign all the way back in 1971-72.