Golden Shoe 2015-16: Top Goalscorers in Europe, Latest Standings on February 8

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistFebruary 8, 2016

Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain celebrates after scoring during a Serie A soccer match between Napoli and Carpi, at the San Paolo stadium in Naples, Italy, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Salvatore Laporta)
Salvatore Laporta/Associated Press

Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain continues to top the standings in the race for the 2015-16 Golden Shoe as he scored past both Lazio and Carpi in the Partenopei's last two games to take his points tally to 48 points.

A brace against Belenenses saw Benfica forward Jonas climb the rankings to second, while Leicester City's Jamie Vardy made similar gains as he entered the top 10 with two goals in the Foxes' win over Liverpool in midweek.

Karim Benzema's goal against Granada on Sunday pulled him level with Real Madrid team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.

Here are the full standings:

2015-16 Golden Shoe Standings: Feb. 1
PositionPlayerTeamGoals x FactorPoints
1Gonzalo HiguainNapoli24 x 248.0
2JonasBenfica23 x 246.0
T3Pierre-Emerick AubameyangBorussia Dortmund20 x 240.0
T3Luis SuarezBarcelona20 x 240.0
T4Robert LewandowskiBayern Munich19 x 238.0
T4Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid19 x 238.0
T4Karim BenzemaReal Madrid19 x 238.0
T5Jamie VardyLeicester City18 x 236.0
T5Eran ZahaviMaccabi Tel Aviv24 x 1.536.0
T6Alex TeixeiraShakhtar Donetsk22 x 1.533.0


Each league is given a difficulty ranking between one and two based on UEFA's coefficients—which is then multiplied by the number of goals scored to achieve a player's overall points tally.

For example, the likes of the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga and the Bundesliga are all among Europe's top leagues, and so their players' goal tallies are doubled thanks to a difficulty ranking of two. Meanwhile, Alex Teixeira's 22 goals are multiplied by a constant of 1.5 as they were scored in the Ukrainian top flight.


Benzema Shines While Ronaldo Struggles Again

Benzema netted for the 19th time in La Liga this season on Sunday night as Los Blancos travelled to the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes in a bid to keep pace with title rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

The Frenchman found the net after half an hour when Dani Carvajal found himself in acres of space on the right flank, and the Spaniard made no mistake in picking out the striker at the near post to tap in with consummate ease.

Daniel Tejedor/Associated Press

Football journalist Dermot Corrigan revealed the extent of his impressive form, while fellow journalist Ben Hayward noted the forward has been one of Zinedine Zidane's most reliable performers upon taking the hot seat at the Santiago Bernabeu:

By contrast, Ronaldo had a night to forget as he contributed little up front, either in the build-up or as a goal threat.

Corrigan noted it is not the first time the Portuguese has struggled on the road this season, while Agence France-Presse's Kieran Canning gave a strong and blunt assessment:

Indeed, perhaps his most notable contribution came in the first half when Luka Modric set him away on the left, but the 31-year-old could not even find the target when he had a fairly strong chance to score.

As Sky Sports Statto revealed, he did not have his shooting boots on:

Despite netting 19 goals in La Liga this season, Madridistas may have cause for concern as Spanish football expert Sergi Dominguez revealed:

With Athletic Bilbao, Malaga and Atletico Madrid all to come in February, Ronaldo will need to rediscover his ability to make the difference in key games.


Higuain Continues to Lead

As the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Luis Suarez—not to mention Jamie Vardy—continue to prove, it's been a great campaign for strikers around Europe.

None more so than Higuain when it comes to league games, and the Argentinian has added two more to his haul in the last week.

First, he scored from close range against Lazio after playing a neat one-two with Jose Callejon. BeIN Sport's Matteo Bonetti captured the moment:

Then, after Carpi's Fabio Daprela scythed down Kalidou Koulibaly inside the area, there was only one man to step up and convert the resulting spot-kick, per Squawka Football:

Higuain has now scored in six successive games in Serie A, netting eight goals in that time.

Dominguez heaped praise on the striker, though journalist Gabriele Marcotti was unsurprised at Higuain's form:

Meanwhile, writer David Amoyal noted the 28-year-old is just one of several Napoli players to improve under Maurizio Sarri:

Table-topping Napoli face second-placed Juventus in their next Serie A match—one that won't yet decide the title but could serious implications.

The Bianconeri have conceded just 15 goals all season, but with Higuain in red-hot form, they may find themselves unable to stop him.  


    Mad Scramble Brought Inter Level with Lazio 🎥

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Mad Scramble Brought Inter Level with Lazio 🎥

    via Streamja

    Live: Lazio vs. Inter Champions League Playoff

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Live: Lazio vs. Inter Champions League Playoff | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale
    via | Tutte le news sul calcio in tempo reale

    Live: Iniesta's Final Match for Barcelona

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Live: Iniesta's Final Match for Barcelona

    AS English

    Torres Scores in Final Game for Atletico 🎥

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Torres Scores in Final Game for Atletico 🎥

    via Streamja