Golden Shoe 2015-16: Leading Goalscorers in Europe, Latest Table on January 18

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2016

FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez, right, is congratulated by his teammate Neymar after scoring against Athletic Bilbao during a Spanish La Liga soccer match at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

Gonzalo Higuain moved to the top of the European Golden Shoe rankings as he netted a double for Napoli against Sassuolo, but he has some serious competition in the shape of Barcelona's Luis Suarez.

Suarez's hat-trick for Barca in their 6-0 win over Athletic Bilbao took the Uruguayan past the likes of Jamie Vardy, Robert Lewandowski and former leader Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Cristiano Ronaldo also scored twice in Real Madrid's 5-1 drubbing of Sporting Gijon and is making ominous moves up the standings.

With the Bundesliga returning from its winter break in the upcoming weekend, the likes of Bayern Munich's Lewandowski and Borussia Dortmund's Aubameyang will hope to settle back into the goalscoring vein immediately.

Here are the latest standings after a goal-packed weekend across Europe.

2015-16 Golden Shoe Standings: Jan. 18
PositionPlayerTeamGoals x FactorPoints
1.Gonzalo HiguainNapoli20 x 240.0
T2.Luis SuarezBarcelona18 x 236.0
T2.JonasBenfica18 x 236.0
T2.Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund18 x 236.0
T5.Alex TeixeiraShakhtar Donetsk22 x 1.533.0
T5.Nemanja NikolicLegia Warsaw22 x 1.533.0
T7.Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid16 x 232.0
T7.NeymarBarcelona16 x 232.0
T7.Karim BenzemaReal Madrid16 x 232.0
T10.Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich15 x 230.0
T10.Romelu LukakuEverton15 x 230.0
T10.Jamie VadryLeicester City15 x 230.0

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 score in, so Neymar's 16 goals are doubled to create his points tally of 32. By contrast, the Lithuanian top flight has a constant of one, meaning Tomas Radzinevicius’s 28 goals equate to 28 points.


Suarez Hunting Down Higuain

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 17:  Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's sixth goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club de Bilbao  at Camp Nou on January 17, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ram
David Ramos/Getty Images

Higuain is having arguably the best season of his career, and he carried on his immense goalscoring form on Saturday as he scored twice in a 3-1 victory.

His goals have been crucial for Napoli, who remain top of Serie A, while the Argentinian moved clear on his own at the summit of the Golden Shoe standings, his late second against Sassuolo putting daylight between him and the second-placed trio, per BT Sport Football:

A Scudetto and Golden Shoe double remains a distinct possibility for Higuain this season, but he will have to carry on finding the back of the net as the quality around him is huge.

Most threatening to his chances is Suarez, who continued his incredible form this season with a treble against Athletic. 

Per Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe and Dean Jones, he was bafflingly left out of the recent FIFA/FIFPro World XI:

However, the Uruguayan made a significant move for the Golden Shoe against Bilbao as he moved to 18 goals from 18 games in La Liga this season, per

It was phenomenal hat-trick from Suarez, his first coming after terrific link play with Neymar, the second a sublime flick and the third a powerful header, per BetVictor: 

A four-time former Golden Shoe winner, Ronaldo made a move up the standings on Sunday along with team-mate Karim Benzema, the pair both claiming doubles.

The duo were excellent in Zinedine Zidane's second game as manager with Gareth Bale also getting on the scoresheet, a common combination of late, per Opta:

Ronaldo is four goals back from Higuain at the top of the standings, but he has the ability and the drive to close that gap in a single game.

Next up for the Portuguese in La Liga is a trip to lowly Real Betis, and Ronaldo will be eager to get on the scoresheet again, with Los Blancos having netted 10 goals in Zidane's first two games in charge.

With Higuain now very much the man to beat, the tension is hotting up in the race for the Golden Shoe, and the Argentinian will have to work hard to hang on to the top spot until the end of the season. 


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