Published on February 8th, 2018 | by David Kraakman0
The Golden Shoe: The four-way fight to become Europe’s top striker
The contest to win the award for the best striker in Europe is as fierce as ever with three players looking to battle Leo Messi for his crown, but who will win?
While the race for the European Golden Shoe – the continent’s top league scorer – has been a two-horse race between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the majority of the past ten years, this season we have a tight competition on our hands between many goal-scoring machines.
Before we move on to analyze the favourites it’s important to note that the UEFA use a points system to decide the Golden Shoe winner. The goals total of a player in one of Europe’s top-five leagues (Spain, England, Italy, France and Germany) gets multiplied by factor two. Leagues beneath that get factor 1,5 and some even 1, based on the UEFA rankings.
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
They called him a ‘one-season wonder’ a few years back but it’s safe to say now that we are looking at a phenomenon. The Tottenham forward already has two Premier League top-scorer titles in his bag and a European Golden Shoe would really establish Kane among the world’s best strikers for those who still have doubts about that.
With 22 league goals so far, the England international is the sole leader in the race for the Golden Shoe and will feel that he has the capabilities to maintain the advantage for the remaining months of the season.
Edinson Cavani (PSG)
The Uruguayan No9 always says that he prefers team trophies above individual awards and although that might be true with the European Golden Shoe in touching distance, it surely has crossed the mind of the Paris Saint-Germain star. Having a top scorer title to his name in both the European leagues he has played in – Serie A and Ligue 1 – becoming the top scorer of Europe would be a wonderful icing on the cake for Edinson Cavani.
Currently on 21 league goals in France, Cavani is just behind Kane but has played two fewer games than the Englishman but does have the advantage of playing in a PSG side that dominates domestically.
Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
Liverpool knew they had brought in a quality player when signing Mohamed Salah from Roma last summer. The Egyptian forward scored and assisted a lot of goals in Italy and frightened defenses on a regular basis with his pace, speed of thought and technical execution. However, nobody expected Salah to do as well as he is doing now.
The African has announced himself as one of the best players in Europe this season and his 21 goals in the Premier League suggest so.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
The Argentine wizard has hit 30-years-of-age but his goal scoring drift is still pretty impressive. Lionel Messi has added the playmaking task to his game as well which might hinder him from hitting the dazzling numbers he used to achieve a few years back but, nonetheless, the Barcelona player is the top scorer in La Liga and is well in the race for the European Golden Shoe.
If Messi is to win his fifth Golden Shoe this year, he needs to step up his game a little bit as he is two goals behind Kane at the moment.
Who is going to win it?
All four favourites have a similar possibility of winning the award but the one who will be victorious is Edinson Cavani. The dominance of PSG in Ligue 1 means that the Uruguayan will be involved in a lot of heavy wins wherein he will undoubtedly be amongst the goals.