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|
|Position||Player||Team||Goals x Factor||Points|
|1.||Gonzalo Higuain||Napoli||20 x 2||40.0|
|T2.||Luis Suarez||Barcelona||18 x 2||36.0|
|T2.||Jonas||Benfica||18 x 2||36.0|
|T2.||Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang||Borussia Dortmund||18 x 2||36.0|
|T5.||Alex Teixeira||Shakhtar Donetsk||22 x 1.5||33.0|
|T5.||Nemanja Nikolic||Legia Warsaw||22 x 1.5||33.0|
|T7.||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||16 x 2||32.0|
|T7.||Neymar||Barcelona||16 x 2||32.0|
|T7.||Karim Benzema||Real Madrid||16 x 2||32.0|
|T10.||Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||15 x 2||30.0|
|T10.||Romelu Lukaku||Everton||15 x 2||30.0|
|T10.||Jamie Vadry||Leicester City||15 x 2||30.0|
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
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:
BT Sport Football @btsportfootball
"Hitman @G_Higuain!" The Argentina striker sends @sscnapoli to the @SerieA_TIM summit with his second of the night. https://t.co/bPOLjVkrMl1/16/2016, 9:49:49 PM
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 WhoScored.com.
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:
#laliga #FCBAthletic Full Time #Barca dominate start to finish with a hatrick by Suarez. #FCB 6 - 0 #AthleticClub https://t.co/wX8wBJXSje1/17/2016, 9:27:05 PM
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:
23 - Cristiano Ronaldo (6), Gareth Bale (9) and Karim Benzema (8) have scored 23 out @realmadriden’s last 24 league goals. BBC.1/17/2016, 5:03:42 PM
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.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!