European Golden Shoe: Salah, Messi, Lewandowski and Immobile lead the way
The European Golden Shoe is one of the most sought-after individual awards around, and we’ll soon know this season’s winner.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated the accolade for the past 10 years, winning four times apiece.
But the duo could be beaten this year. Here’s the lowdown on this season’s main contenders…
Mohamed Salah – Liverpool – 30 goals
Liverpool have found themselves a new hero in Mohamed Salah. The Egyptian netted his 30th Premier League goal of the campaign in their 3-0 win over Bournemouth on Saturday.
Salah is five clear of Harry Kane in the Premier League race, and his recent form has seen him surge to the front in the European battle too.
The 25-year-old has scored 12 goals in his last eight league games, and on current form could well become the third Liverpool striker after Ian Rush and Luis Suarez to win the European Golden Shoe.
Lionel Messi – Barcelona – 29 goals
But Salah could yet lose out to Lionel Messi. The Barcelona star is just one behind on 29 goals and has been as good as ever this term.
Plus, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp may rest Salah in the closing weeks to focus on their Champions league semi-finals. So that could give Messi the edge.
The Argentine would become the first player to ever win the award five times. It’s also worth noting that Barcelona have six games still to play while Liverpool have only four.
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich – 27 goals
Bayern Munich hotshot Robert Lewandowski is also in the mix, just about.
The Poland international is three behind Salah, but is also running out of matches to make up the difference.
No Bayern player has won this award since Gerd Muller in 1972, but Lewandowski has just four league games remaining, and like Salah, may be rested to be fresh for the Champions League duty.
Ciro Immobile – Lazio – 27 goals
Lazio’s Ciro Immobile has enjoyed a superb campaign, and could yet end it with the Golden Shoe.
The Italian has six league games left to overhaul Salah and Messi, and Lazio have no European distractions either.
What’s more, the Rome outfit are in a fierce three-into-two fight with Roma and Inter for the remaining Champions League spots, so every game – and every goal from Immobile – will be huge.
And the rest
Edinson Cavani is on 25 goals. The Uruguayan could yet come into the mix should Paris Saint-Germain continue to wallop the rest of Ligue 1.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane is also on 25 goals, and their intent is clear after they appealed a goal against Stoke City in the striker’s favour.
Further back, Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez probably have too much ground to make up. The duo are on 23 league goals apiece.
Benfica’s Jonas has scored 33 times this season, but the Portuguese Liga’s ratio of 1.5 means he will need to net well in excess of 40 goals to have a shot.
All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication