Barcelona's Lionel Messi Extends Lead Over Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo In European Golden Shoe

Barcelona's Lionel Messi netted once against Osasuna to extend his lead over runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo, while Napoli ace Edinson Cavani netted once
Barcelona attacker Lionel Messi started the match against Osasuna from the bench, but was brought on after the interval and scored once to increase his tally to 31 La Liga goals this season.

Runner-up Cristiano Ronaldo also come off the bench in Real Madrid's 6-3 win over Valencia, but, unlike his rival, the Portugal international was unable to find the net.

Antonio Di Natale didn't score for Udinese, allowing Edinson Cavani to move into joint third spot following his converted spot-kick in the 2-1 loss against Palermo.

Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez scored once as well to hold on to fifth position in the European Golden Shoe standings, while Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United) and Moussa Sow (Lille) both failed to add their respective names to the scoresheet at the weekend and remain joint sixth.

Inter striker Samuel Eto'o returns to the top 10 following his match winner against Lazio on Saturday afternoon and has now scored as many goals as Freiburg striker Papiss Cisse.

Former Rangers striker Kenny Miller didn't find the net in his his side's 2-1 home win and is the number 10 in the standings.

Rank Player          
Club Weighting Goals Points
L. Messi (ARG) Barcelona ( ESP) 2 31 (+1)
2 C.Ronaldo ( POR) Real Madrid ( ESP) 2 29
A. Di Natale ( ITA) Udinese ( ITA) 2 26
E. Cavani ( URU) Napoli ( ITA) 2 26 (+1)
M. Gomez ( GER)
Bayern Munich ( GER) 2
23 (+1)
6= D. Berbatov  ( BUL) Manchester Utd ( ENG) 2 21
M. Sow ( SEN) Lille ( FRA) 2 21
8 P. Cisse ( SEN)
Freiburg ( GER)
S. Eto'o ( CMR) Inter ( ITA) 2 20 (+1)
K. Miller ( SCO)
Bursaspor ( TUR) 1.5 26

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 nineties 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 awards official again. ESM divided all European league in three groups according to strength and attached to each group is a quotient by which the number of goals is multiplied to obtain the player's rating. The European Golden Shoe was thus no longer handed per se out 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 the so called weaker leagues from winning the European Golden Shoe, since presumably a goal scored in for example Armenia/Estonia/Azerbaijan carries less weight than a goal scored in Serie A/La Liga/ 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 couple of years.

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