Published on March 20th, 2018 | by David Kraakman0
Who will win the battle to be Europe’s most fearsome forward?
The chase for the European Golden Shoe is on and is being led by the surprise package of Mo Salah, but Leo Messi is in hot pursuit
It was already clear that Mohamed Salah has been experiencing a great season, but this weekend, the Egyptian has brought it to another level. Four goals, including some stunning solo runs in a 5-0 win over Watford have further established comparisons with the footballing world’s elite and who can not put him in that bracket at the moment?
In his debut season for Liverpool, Salah has now scored 36 goals in 41 games in all competitions with 28 goals coming in the Premier League. That tally has put him in a comfortable lead for the European Golden Shoe with the second in line three goals behind him. The skilled forward could become the first African ever to win the prestigious award.
Having won the prize times a record four times – just like eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo – Lionel Messi will always be in the chase for the Golden Shoe. In Spain, the Argentinean is leading the way on 25 goals and you wouldn’t put it past him to catch up with Salah in the remaining months of the season. The Argentinian wizard would, in that scenario, make it two in a row as he already won the Golden Shoe last season.
However, with the World Cup in mind, Champions League as the prime target and the league all but won, it wouldn’t be strange to see Messi get some rest in the Spanish League in the latter stages which would make another European Golden Shoe a much harder task.
Still in the race
Just trailing by one goal is trio of strikers Ciro Immobile (Lazio Roma), Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain) and Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur). The latter has suffered an injury that will keep him out for at least a month so unfortunately Kane looks to be out of the race but the former two are still very much in it and it would be a personal career highlight to win this accolade for both.
The pair is playing for clubs that are scoring for fun this campaign and are expected to be involved in a fair few high scoring-wins before the final match day arrives. It ensures that they remain contenders for the Golden Shoe.
There are some players with a legendary reputation in front of goal and that, of course, means you can never count them out. I am talking about Luis Suárez and especially Cristiano Ronaldo. Both have been on fire since the turn of the year after experiencing a tough start to the season for different reasons.
The firepower is back, though, and both have climbed the ladder significantly as they are now on 21 (Suárez) and 22 (Ronaldo) successful strikes in league action. There is still a decent gap to leader Salah but let’s not forget that these two hitmen have won six European Golden Shoes between them.
Cristiano Ronaldo has scored in each of his last eight games across all competitions:
17 goals in that time. pic.twitter.com/mkHQAg2DB9
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 19, 2018
1. Mohamed Salah
2. Lionel Messi
3. Ciro Immobile
4. Edinson Cavani
5. Harry Kane