- 21 May 2023 22:47 BST
- 13 min read
The race to be crowned European Golden Shoe winner for 2022/23 is nearing its conclusion.
Robert Lewandowski won the last two editions of the award and came into the campaign seeking to match Lionel Messi (2016-2019) by winning three in a row.
He scored 35 goals for Bayern Munich last season to give him 70 Golden Shoe points and a comfortable European golden boot victory that rarely looked in doubt.
However, having won the last two awards for Bayern, it is Barcelona who Lewandowski is representing this season after his high-profile transfer to La Liga.
One of his main rivals last year, Karim Benzema, is on the other side of the Clasico divide with Real Madrid and their battle will now be even more intriguing with both star strikers playing in Spain’s top flight.
Kylian Mbappe came into the new season as the other most likely contender.
The PSG sensation came second last season with 28 goals in Ligue 1 and will push to make an even stronger challenge in 2022/23.
In the Premier League, Erling Haaland moved to Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in a huge transfer and was immediately installed as favourite to top the English goalscoring charts.
Haaland has impressed and is looking to challenge to score the most goals in Europe for 2022/23 with his new team, with Mohamed Salah - a prolific scorer for Liverpool - another big name to watch in England’s top flight along with Tottenham’s Harry Kane.
Premier League top scorers 2022/23: Latest Golden Boot standings
Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were not to be ignored either, given that duo have regularly dominated these standings in years gone by - though the latter ended up leaving Man Utd in November.
European Assists King 2022/23: Who leads this season's creative standings?
Surprise contenders have often emerged in the past as well, with former Golden Shoe winner Ciro Immobile now a regular challenger given his remarkable goalscoring consistency for Lazio.
This page will be updated throughout the 2022/23 season with regular updates on the European Golden Shoe standings.
2022/23 EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE STANDINGS
Erling Haaland leads the race to win the European Golden Shoe title, while Kylian Mbappe was among the players to rise in the standings this week.
While Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, Alexandre Lacazette and Mbappe have emerged as his main rivals in the standings, Manchester City striker Haaland has built a commanding advantage.
Haaland has enjoyed an incredible spell since scoring eight goals in two games against RB Leipzig and Burnley in March. Although both matches were not in the Premier League, meaning they did not boost his Golden Shoe lead, the matches kickstarted another sensational run of form.
He boosted his points total to 64 when he reached 32 Premier League goals for the season in the 3-1 win over Leicester City, having also scored against Southampton after being out injured for Man City's impressive win over Liverpool.
And he struck again as Man City beat Arsenal 4-1, while his penalty against Fulham and header against Everton improved his goal total further.
Haaland remains in a strong position this season after being boosted by his hat-trick against Wolves on January 22, with that treble and his recent Champions League and cup exploits abolishing any talk of a quiet period in front of goal.
Barcelona star Robert Lewandowski's dreams of a third straight success are beginning to fade, and the rest of the group of elite forwards chasing Haaland, which includes Osimhen, Kane and Mbappe, also have an impossible task to catch him now.
Man City forward Haaland tops the European golden boot standings with an incredible 36 goals in the Premier League, which is comfortably the highest total in all of Europe’s five major divisions.
Haaland has scored four Premier League hat-tricks since moving to England from Dortmund, including a treble as his side thrashed rivals Man Utd 6-3 in the first Manchester derby of the season.
He made history by becoming the first Premier League player ever to score 20 goals before January and has built a big lead at the top of the European Golden Boot standings.
By January 22, he had already racked up more goals than Mohamed Salah and Son Heung-min (both 23) managed across the full previous season to win the EPL Golden Boot for 2021/22.
The goal against Bournemouth on February 25 means he has already beaten the record held by Sergio Aguero (26) for most goals by a Man City player in a Premier League season.
And when he reached 30 goals for the EPL campaign by scoring twice at Southampton on April 8, Haaland has ensured his goalscoring campaign will always sit in elite company.
He later moved clear of the competition's single season record of 34, hitting the 35-goal mark with a strike in the home win against West Ham on May 3.
Haaland always looked to be on course for a record-breaking season if he remained free of any prolonged injury absences and has duly delivered.
Despite Haaland’s sensational campaign, though, there are multiple other top forwards who have racked up more than 20 goals, meaning a triumph for the Man City man has not always been a foregone conclusion.
Tottenham forward Kane also spent much of the season in the running, scoring 10 times since the start of March in the Premier League to move up to 28 strikes, the sixth time he has reached or passed the 20-goal top-flight milestone.
He is now Tottenham's all-time record goalscorer, and has remained consistent in front of goal despite a turbulent period for Spurs that saw manager Antonio Conte depart and his side thrashed 6-1 by Newcastle.
Napoli star Osimhen was in the group of high-profile players involved in the battle to score the most goals in Europe for 2022/23.
Osimhen (46 Golden Shoe points) has surged clear as the top scorer in Serie A and now sits in the top five of the European Golden Shoe rankings.
In a remarkable season for the Nigeria forward, he has scored 23 Serie A goals.
Osimhen lost momentum slightly towards the end of the season. The two games against Lazio and Atalanta in March were his first league outings for two months where he did not find the net. He also spent three weeks out injured, ending his hopes of catching Man City star Haaland, but returned to help Napoli seal a historic Scudetto.
Paris Saint-Germain attacker Mbappe is also in the chasing pack.
He has moved on to 28 Ligue 1 goals – moving five ahead of Osimhen in the Golden Shoe race - with a sublime run of form.
Mbappe scored a double in PSG's incredible 4-3 victory over Lille and add another two goals against rivals Marseille before wrapping up the recent win over Nantes with a late goal. He added another goal in the 2-1 win over Brest as PSG grabbed a last-gasp win.
The strike against Nantes on March 4 made Mbappe PSG’s all-time record goalscorer.
Then came three straight poor outings without a goal either side of the international break as PSG lost to Rennes and Lyon before beating Nice.
But a goal and an assist against Lens got him back on track and on to 20 league goals for the fourth time in five seasons. Two goals in the 2-1 win over Angers and a bizarre strike in the defeat to Lorient then continued his recent run, prior to another goal as PSG saw off Troyes.
The hot streak for Mbappe continued with two goals as PSG thrashed Ajaccio 5-0 and another double last time out at Auxerre on Sunday.
It has been an up-and-down campaign for Mbappe, who had also been frustrated after failing to score in each of his three top-flight matches in January, had an injury that briefly kept him out of action and suffered Champions League disappointment.
Nonetheless, Mbappe has once again posted another strong Golden Shoe performance in 2022/23.
Barca forward Lewandowski has netted 22 times in La Liga from 31 appearances (30 starts).
But he has only scored nine times in his last 19 top-flight outings for Barca and has missed time through suspension and injuries this season, hindering his hopes of making up ground on rampant Haaland.
Lewandowski is six goals ahead of Man Utd star Marcus Rashford, who has 32 Golden Shoe points to sit behind the likes of Haaland, Kane and Ivan Toney in the Premier League scoring charts.
Osimhen, meanwhile, faces a challenge in Italy from in-form Inter striker Lautaro Martinez, who has reached 20 goals.
The Bundesliga goalscoring charts are topped by Niclas Fullkrug, who has 16 goals to his name in Germany.
And each member of PSG’s star strike-force has been faring well in the 2022/23 Golden Shoe race.
PSG stars Lionel Messi and Neymar are on 15 and 13 league goals respectively for the season so far.
Messi has produced a fantastic season, showing fine form for PSG either side of his World Cup win.
The Argentina star has 15 top-flight goals, as well as 15 assists. He scored a fine free-kick in PSG’s 2-1 win over Nice at the start of October and netted against the same opponents, as well as getting an assist, in a 2-0 win on Saturday April 8.
His return to the pitch with PSG after his exploits in Qatar was a goalscoring one as his team won against Angers.
Messi has eight goals since the World Cup. He scored in recent clashes with Montpellier, Toulouse, Lille, Nantes, Nice and Lens, while also starring against Marseille on February 26 with one goal and two assists.
Neymar also enjoyed a prolific campaign which included a strike against Reims and two goal involvements - a goal and assist - against Lille, but another ankle injury has now ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Lyon's Lacazette is also near the top of the standings in the Golden Shoe charts with 26 Ligue 1 goals, putting him in the mix with the likes of Mbappe and Lille attacker Jonathan David in a competitive golden boot battle in France.
There are an incredible 18 players in the French top-flight who have hit double figures already, a list topped by Mbappe (28 goals), Lacazette (26 goals), David (22 goals), Habib Diallo (20 goals), Folarin Balogun (20 goals) and Lois Openda (19 goals).
Not all of the pre-season contenders are still holding out hope of catching Haaland in the Golden Shoe standings.
Mohamed Salah is further down the standings than normal, though he has recently rallied to 19 Premier League goals so far for Liverpool. The attacker's form has picked up of late and he was superb in the Reds’ famous 7-0 win over Manchester United, scoring twice, and has seven goals and four assists in his last nine EPL matches.
In the group of players on 17 goals and 34 Golden Shoe points you find Real Madrid great Karim Benzema, whose cause this season has not been helped by some ill-timed injury absences.
But Benzema scored a double against Real Valladolid on December 30, suggesting he could be set for a big second half of the season, a sentiment boosted when he struck again in games with Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao, before netting two penalties against Elche.
Benzema then grabbed a hat-trick as Real Madrid thrashed Valladolid 6-0 and bounced back from going three straight La Liga matches without a goal by netting another treble in the win over Almeria.
Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has just 12 strikes to his name this season after a quiet run in 2023 which has only seen him score six times in Serie A.
Romelu Lukaku, after returning to Inter, and Juventus’ Dusan Vlahovic, were among the notable Serie A candidates as the Italian campaign began, but Osimhen, Martinez and Boulaye Dia are the only players to have reached 15 goals.
Cristiano Ronaldo, meanwhile, only scored once in the Premier League this season, and that strike at Everton on October 9 was his sole goal in domestic action for Man Utd before his departure.
Haaland will hope stretch his lead when champions Man City play away against Brighton on Wednesday, though Pep Guardiola may make changes to his team with the title being wrapped up.
PSG and Mbappe are scheduled to play away to Strasbourg on Saturday as they close in on the Ligue 1 title.
For the time being our table below tracking the European Golden Shoe standings will only list players from the top five European leagues, where the winner is most likely to emerge from.
Players from outside the top five leagues in Europe are eligible to win the Golden Shoe, but the winner has not come from one of those divisions since 2002.
2022/23 European Golden Shoe
|Erling Haaland (Man City)||36||72|
|Harry Kane (Tottenham)||28||56|
|Kylian Mbappe (PSG)||28||56|
|Alexandre Lacazette (Lyon)||26||52|
|Victor Osimhen (Napoli)||23||46|
|Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)||22||44|
|Jonathan David (Lille)||22||44|
|Ivan Toney (Brentford)||20||40|
|Folarin Balogun (Reims)||20||40|
|Habib Diallo (Strasbourg)||20||40|
|Lautaro Martinez (Inter)||20||40|
|Lois Openda (Lens)||19||38|
|Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)||19||38|
|Callum Wilson (Newcastle)||18||36|
|Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)||18||36|
|Sepe Elye Wahi (Montpellier)||17||34|
|Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)||17||34|
|Terem Moffi (Nice)||17||34|
|Marcus Rashford (Man Utd)||16||32|
|Niclas Fullkrug (Werder Bremen)||16||32|
|Lionel Messi (PSG)||15||30|
|Boulaye Dia (Salernitana)||15||30|
|Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)||15||30|
|Gabriel Martinelli (Arsenal)||15||30|
|Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)||14||28|
|Vincenzo Grifo (Freiburg)||14||28|
|Enes Unal (Getafe)||14||28|
|Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)||14||28|
|Alexis Sanchez (Marseille)||14||28|
|Randal Kolo Muani (Frankfurt)||14||28|
|Ademola Lookman (Atalanta)||13||26|
|Marcus Thuram (Gladbach)||13||26|
|Bukayo Saka (Arsenal)||13||26|
|Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)||13||26|
|Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid)||13||26|
|Vedat Muriqi (Mallorca)||13||26|
|M'Bala Nzola (Spezia)||13||26|
|Borja Iglesias (Betis)||13||26|
|Rafael Leao (AC Milan)||13||26|
Who won the European Golden Shoe - Previous Winners
Lionel Messi has won the most European Golden Shoe titles.
The PSG forward has triumphed on six occasions, most recently in 2018/19 for Barcelona.
Cristiano Ronaldo is his closest challenger with four career wins, though the Man Utd attacker has not come out on top since 2014/15 when he was at Real Madrid.
Robert Lewandowski’s triumph last year means there are now 10 players who have two awards apiece, a list that also includes Luis Suarez and Thierry Henry.
Messi holds the record for most goals and points in a season as well. He remarkably scored 50 goals in 2011/12, earning himself 100 points.
Ronaldo has come closest to breaking that, scoring 48 goals for 96 points when he last won the crown more than seven years ago.
Argentina forward Messi is the only player in European Golden Shoe history to win the title three years in a row, doing so from 2016/17 until 2018/19.
Ronaldo, though, is one of only four players to have won the title with different clubs. The others are Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Mario Jardel.
Lewandowski became the first Bundesliga winner since 1972 with the first of his two triumphs in the 2020/21 season, with his remarkable 41 goals from 29 games being the best goal tally since 2015.
That came after Ciro Immobile won the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, scoring 36 goals for Lazio in a tremendous Serie A season.
It was his first title, with the striker becoming the first Serie A player to have the most goals in Europe since Francesco Totti triumphed for Lazio's rivals Roma in 2006/07.
Ligue 1 has not produced a winner since Josip Skoblar in 1971, a statistic the likes of Messi and Mbappe are hoping to change soon.
Recent Golden Shoe Winners
|2021/22||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||35/70|
|2020/21||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||41/82|
|2014/15||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||48/96|
What are the European Golden Shoe rules and weightings?
Only league goals are eligible for the European Golden Shoe, with each strike earning points in a weighted system depending on the quality of league.
The five elite leagues - Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 - all carry a weighting of 2, meaning that a player will be awarded two points for every goal they score in these competitions.
For the leagues ranked sixth to 21 in Uefa's coefficients rankings - which includes the top-flights in Portugal, Netherlands and Russia - goals scored are given a weighting of 1.5, and goals scored in a league outside the top 21 are given a weighting of 1.
That was not always the case in the European Golden Shoe. From 1968 until 1991, the award simply went to the highest goalscorer on the continent, regardless of the strength of league.
Awards were not initially handed out between 1991 until 1996, when the new system came into force. Since then, only two players playing outside what were the five highest-ranked leagues at the time have ever won the Golden Shoe - Henrik Larsson (2000/01) and Mario Jardel (2001/02).
The Golden Shoe has been tied in the past, most recently when Suarez and Ronaldo shared the honour in 2013/14. Going forward, though, the award will be given to the player who has played the fewest minutes if two of them end up on the same number of points.
This page covers the 2022/23 European Golden Shoe race.