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The Argentine superstar bagged all the goals in the Catalan derby as he broke yet another record to all but seal his status as the continent's top scorer this term

Lionel Messi reached 50 goals for the season in La Liga as he netted four for Barcelona in their resounding 4-0 win over Espanyol on Saturday.

The Argentine pulled five goals clear of Cristiano Ronaldo in the European Golden Shoe standings with only one matchday to go in the Spanish top flight, as the Real Madrid forward could only score one in Los Blancos' 2-1 win away at Granada.

In third place, Robin van Persie reached the magical 30-goal mark in the Premier League when he bagged a double in Arsenal's exhilarating 3-3 draw with Norwich at the weekend.

In the Bundesliga, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar finished the season as top scorer with two goals for Schalke as they beat Werder Bremen. The Netherlands international pulled three clear of Mario Gomez in sixth place, as the Bayern Munich forward failed to net in his side's 4-1 win against Koln.

Sandwiched between them in fifth is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Milan forward netted two as the Rossoneri lost 4-2 to city rivals Inter, and handed the Serie A title to Juventus.

Wayne Rooney however, had less luck in front of goal as he failed to score in Manchester United's 2-0 win over Swansea at Old Trafford.

In eighth, Bas Dost entered the top 10 for the first time this season, as he scored one in Heerenveen's 3-2 loss to Feyenoord, and drew himself level with Burak Yilmaz, who failed to net in Trabzonspor's 3-1 loss to Fenerbache.

Radamel Falcao, Diego Milito, Edison Cavani and Aleksandr Celukjavs round up the top 10, with all four on 46 points for the season.

Falcao failed to net for Atletico Madrid in their 2-1 win over Malaga at Vicente Calderon, whilst Cavani was also off target in Napoli's 2-0 loss away at Bologna.

Miltio meanwhile, was on top form as he became the first person to score a hat-trick in the Milan derby since Jose Altafini in 1960 as Inter won 4-2 against Massimiliano Allgeri's side.


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

    45     90

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

M. Gomez

GER

Bayern

GER

2

26

52

=

W. Rooney

ENG

Man Utd

ENG

2

26

52

8

B. Yilmaz

TUR

Trabzonspor

TUR

1.5

32

48

=

B. Dost

NED

Heerenveen

NED

    1.5

32

48

10

R. Falcao

COL

Atl. Madrid

ESP

2

23

46

= E. Cavani URU Napoli ITA

2

23

46

= D. Milito ARG Inter ITA 2 23 46
= A. Celukjavs LVA Trans* EST 1 46 46

* = 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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