thumbnail Hello,

The Argentine superstar has been crowned as the continent's top scorer, bagging himself half a century of league goals throughout a record-breaking 2011-12 season

Lionel Messi has been confirmed as the winner of the European Golden Shoe award for the continent's top scorer.

The mercurial Argentine scored an insurmountable 50 goals in Barcelona's La Liga campaign, finishing the season four goals ahead of the runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo.

A sublime run of nine goals in his final four league matches, including all the goals in the 4-0 win over Espanyol in Pep Guardiola's final home game, saw Messi surge past his Real Madrid rival to claim the accolade ahead of Ronaldo, who despite scoring in all of his last four league games, could not retain the Pichichi and European Golden Shoe honours he won last season.

Robin van Persie secured third spot by matching Arsenal legend Thierry Henry's record 30-goal haul in a single season. In his most prolific campaign for Arsene Wenger's side, the Dutch striker helped the Gunners secure Champions League football for the 15th consecutive season.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was the Bundesliga's highest scorer with a tally of 29 goals as he finished just two points shy of Van Persie. He in turn ended the same distance ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who became the first player to win the capocannoniere with two different Serie A clubs.

Wayne Rooney found the net 27 times for Manchester United but it was not enough to stop the Premier League title from going to his team's fiercest rivals, Manchester City. He scored the only goal as the Red Devils defeated Sunderland on the final day of the season to complete the campaign with 54 points.

That goal allowed him to move clear of Mario Gomez, who was unable to find the net on the final day of the Bundesliga despite his Bayern Munich side thrashing relegated Koln 4-1.

The remaining places were made up of four different players, each achieving a points total of 48. Burak Yilmaz and Bas Dost both scored an impressive 32 times for their respective clubs but finished lower in the rankings by virtue of playing in a lower-ranking league.

Radamel Falcao found the net on 24 occasions in La Liga in his debut season with Europa League champions Atletico Madrid whilst despite a disappointing campaign for Inter as a club, Diego Milito also racked up the same amount of goals.

 

Rank

Player          

Country

Club

League

Weight

Goals

Points

1

L. Messi

ARG

Barcelona

ESP

2

50

100

2

C. Ronaldo

POR

Real Madrid

ESP

2

    46     92

3

R. v Persie

NED

Arsenal

ENG

2

30

60

4

K. Huntelaar

NED

Schalke

GER

2 29 58

5

Z. Ibrahimovic

SWE

AC Milan

ITA

2

28

56

6

W. Rooney

ENG

Man Utd

ENG

2

27

54

7

M. Gomez

GER

Bayern

GER

2

26

52

8

B. Yilmaz

TUR

Trabzonspor

TUR

1.5

32

48

=

B. Dost

NED

Heerenveen

NED

    1.5

32

48

=

R. Falcao

COL

Atl. Madrid

ESP

2

24

48

= D. Milito
ARG Inter ITA

2

24

    48

* = league season finished


History & How It Works

In 1967-68, magazine France Football 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 it was 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.

Related

From the web