Cristiano Ronaldo climbed into the top 10 of the Golden Shoe rankings over the Christmas period after his double for Real Madrid in a 3-1 victory over Real Sociedad took him to 14 goals for the La Liga season.
He failed to score in Los Blancos' 2-2 draw on Sunday but remains in sight of the top of the standings.
Barcelona's Luis Suarez also made gains with two goals against Real Betis as the Uruguayan moved up into a tie for fifth spot.
Everton's Romelu Lukaku became the joint top scorer in the Premier League after his two goals against Stoke City and, along with Suarez, Jamie Vardy and Robert Lewandowski, now has 15 for the season.
Here are the latest goalscoring standings in Europe following the recent action around the turn of the year.
|Position||Player||Team||Goals x Factor||Points|
|1.||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Borussia Dortmund||18 x 2||36.0|
|T2.||Alex Teixeira||Shakhtar Donetsk||22 x 1.5||33.0|
|T2.||Nemanja Nikolic||Legia Warsaw||22 x 1.5||33.0|
|4.||Gonzalo Higuain||Napoli||16 x 2||32.0|
|T5.||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||15 x 2||30.0|
|T5.||Jamie Vardy||Leicester City||15 x 2||30.0|
|T5.||Romelu Lukaku||Everton||15 x 2||30.0|
|T5.||Luis Suarez||Barcelona||15 x 2||30.0|
|T9.||Tomas Radzinevicius||Suduva||28 x 1||28.0|
|T9.||Neymar||Barcelona||14 x 2||28.0|
|T9.||Thomas Muller||Bayern Munich||14 x 2||28.0|
|T9.||Odion Ighalo||Watford||14 x 2||28.0|
|T9.||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||14 x 2||28.0|
Rules: Each division is attributed a difficulty constant (between one and two), which is then multiplied by the number of goals scored to produce a total.
For example, La Liga is considered among the most difficult leagues to net in, so Neymar's 14 goals are doubled to create his points tally of 28. By contrast, the Lithuanian top flight has a constant of one, meaning Tomas Radzinevicius’s 28 goals equate to 28 points.
Aubameyang Remains at the Top Despite Inaction
Even with the Bundesliga enjoying its extended winter break, Borussia Dortmund's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang remains the comfortable leader of the pack in the race for the Golden Shoe.
In the first half of the season, he netted an incredible 18 times in 17 matches, leaving him with a comfortable advantage before the German league went on holiday, per WhoScored.com.
However, there were some movers over the Christmas and New Year period, most notably Ronaldo, who has won the European Golden Shoe in both of the last two seasons.
The Portuguese crept into the top 10 only after his brace against La Real—he could have had a hat-trick but skied an early penalty—but given his ability to score in gluts, he could close the gap on the leaders quickly.
Indeed, Ronaldo, 30, finished 2015 as the year's top scorer, proving he has lost none of his immense goalscoring ability, per Infostrada Sports:
Most top flight goals in 2015: 37 - #CR7 (Spain) 36 - Chan Vathanaka (Cambodia) 34 - Alex Teixeira (Ukraine) 33 - Lionel Messi (Spain)— Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) December 30, 2015
Similarly, Suarez remains in impressive form and became La Liga's leading goalscorer for the season with his two strikes against Betis, per WhoScored.com.
Perhaps the most underrated of Barcelona's superlative attacking trio, the Uruguayan contributes as much as Neymar and Lionel Messi.
His goalscoring is consistent and plentiful, and given his current form, it would be no surprise to see him win the Golden Shoe again following his joint award with Ronaldo back in the 2013-14.
Few, if any, are more lethal than Suarez in front of goal, per Opta:
46 - Excluding penalties, Luis Suárez has scored more goals than any other La Liga player during 2015 (all competitions). Gunman.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) December 30, 2015
While Ronaldo and Suarez are unsurprising contenders at this point of the season, Lukaku's lofty position in the Golden Shoe standings is somewhat remarkable.
The 22-year-old Belgian has proved with his recent form that he has the ability to score consistently, and his last 10 league games have returned 10 goals, per WhoScored.com.
He was unable to secure a win for Everton against the Potters, but Lukaku's continued impressive form will buoy manager Roberto Martinez.
If he keeps up his consistency, he could reach the top of the European Golden Shoe standings by the time Aubameyang and the rest of the Bundesliga return to action in late January.