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The Barcelona and Madrid record-breakers went level on 41 goals for the season, ahead of this weekend's Clasico showdown in the Primera Division

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have drawn levelled with each other on 41 goals in La Liga over the weekend, breaking the previous record of 40 set by the Portuguese forward last season.

Messi hit two as Barcelona came from behind to beat Levante 2-1 on Saturday, whilst in the earlier kick off, Ronaldo scored a header as Madrid won 3-1 at home to Sporting Gijon. Both players now lead the European Golden Shoe standing with 82 points.

The duo are well clear of third-placed Robin van Persie, who scored a penalty on Wednesday as Arsenal defeated Wolves 3-0, and could go some way to reaching 30 goals for the season with the Gunners' hosting Wigan on Monday.

In the Bundesliga, Mario Gomez and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar failed to net as Bayern Munich drew 0-0 with Mainz and Schalke went down 2-1 at home to regional rivals Dortmund.

Wayne Rooney joined Huntelaar on 48 points, as the England international scored twice in Manchester United's resounding 4-0 win at home to Aston Villa. Burak Yilmaz meanwhile, was unable to get on the scoresheet as Trabzonspor drew 0-0 with Orduspor.

All of the Serie A fixtures over the weekend were cancelled due to the tragic death of Piermario Morosini, which meant Zlatan Ibrahimovic stayed on 46 points along with Aleksandr Cekulajevs.

Finally, Radamel Falcao entered the top 10 for the first time this season as he scored a second-half winner in Atletico Madrid's 1-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

Rank

Player          

Country

Club

League

Weight

Goals

Points

1

L. Messi

ARG

Barcelona

ESP

2

41

82

=

C. Ronaldo

POR

Real Madrid

ESP

2

41

82

3

R. v Persie

NED

Arsenal

ENG

2

27

54

4

M. Gomez

GER

Bayern

GER

2

25

50

5

K. Huntelaar

NED

Schalke

GER

2

24

48

=

B. Yilmaz

TUR

Trabzonspor

TUR

1.5

32

48

=

W. Rooney

ENG

Man Utd

ENG

2

24

48

8

Ibrahimovic

SWE

AC Milan

ITA

2

23

46

=

A Cekulajevs

LVA

Trans*

EST

1

46

46

 10

R. Falcao

COL

Ath. Madrid

ESP

1.5

22

44

* = 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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