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The Portuguese superstar opened the scoring in Real Madrid's emphatic victory over Espanyol, while the Argentine picked up a booking too many and was unavailable at the weekend

Cristiano Ronaldo scored the opener in Real Madrid's comprehensive 5-0 win against Espanyol to open up a four-point gap between himself and Lionel Messi, who missed Barcelona's 3-1 triumph over Sporting Gijon due to suspension.

Robin van Persie scored two goals in Arsenal's 2-1 victory over Liverpool, moving clear of Aleksandrs Cekulajevs, while Burak Yilmaz found the back of the net in Trabzonspor's smash-and-grab win against Besiktas to gain ground on the Latvian.

CSKA Moscow and Zenit St Petersburg battled to a 2-2 draw but Seydou Doumbia wasn't on the scoresheet for the Army Men. Mario Gomez, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Antonio Di Natale were all unable to score, and remain level with Doumbia.

The quartet were all joined on 36 points by Wayne Rooney, who opened the scoring in Manchester United's 3-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose hat-trick helped AC Milan crush Palermo 4-0.

Rank Player          
Country Club League Weight Goals Points
1 C. Ronaldo POR
Real Madrid
ESP 2
30
60
2
L. Messi
ARG
Barcelona
ESP 2 28
56
3
R. v Persie NED
Arsenal ENG 2 25
50
4
A Cekulajevs LVA Trans* EST
1
46
46
5
B. Yilmaz TUR
Trabzonspor
TUR
1.5 30
45
6 S. Doumbia
CIV
CSKA
RUS
1.5
24
36

M. Gomez
GER
Bayern
GER
2 18
36

K. Huntelaar NED Schalke
GER 2 18
36

A. Di Natale
ITA Udinese ITA 2 18
36
  Ibrahimovic SWE
AC Milan ITA 2 18 36

W. Rooney ENG
Man Utd
ENG 2 18
36
* = league season finished

History & How It Works

In 1967-68, French football magazine L'Equipe opted to hand out an award to the top goalscorer in all European leagues for his good performances during the season. Between 1968 and 1991, high profile names such as Eusebio, Gerd Muller, Ian Rush and Marco van Basten won the coveted trophy.

However, the gap between big and small leagues started to grow in the early 90s and L'Equipe decided to make the competition unofficial after the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) issued a protest in 1991. Darko Pancev won the award that season with 34 goals, but the CFA claimed that a player had scored 40 goals in Cyprus that term.

Adidas, sponsor of the awards, still handed out the trophy until 1996 before European Sports Magazine (with L'Equipe as a member) decided to make the title official again. ESM divided all European leagues in three groups according to strength, and attached to each group a quotient by which the number of goals is multiplied to obtain the player's rating. The European Golden Shoe was thus no longer necessarily handed to the top goalscorer, but to the player with the most points.

The weightings are determined by the league's ranking on the Uefa coefficients, which in turn depend on the results of each league's clubs in European competition over the previous five seasons. Goals scored in the top five leagues according to the Uefa coefficients are multiplied by a factor of two, and goals scored in the leagues ranked six to 21 are multiplied by 1.5. Goals in all other leagues are all worth one single point.

This measure has prevented players from so-called weaker leagues from winning the European Golden Shoe, since a goal scored in, for example, Armenia, Estonia or Azerbaijan, carries less weight than a goal scored in Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga or the Premier League.

Players such as Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Forlan and Lionel Messi have won the European Golden Shoe in the past few seasons.

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