Marc Janko: Chasing after the Golden Boot and Hans Krankl

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Marc Janko: Chasing after the Golden Boot and Hans Krankl

People who are interested in the European Golden Boot will have noticed a few odd names in the top of the rankings this season. Let's have a look at the rankings, shall we?

1. Marc Janko (AUT) - Red Bull Salzburg (AUT) - 25 goals*1,5 - 37,5 points

2. Vagner Love (BRA) - CSKA Moscow (RUS) - 20 goals*1,5 - 30 points

3. Vedat Ibisevic (BOS) - 1899 Hoffenheim (GER) - 14 goals*2 - 28 points

4. Samuel Eto'o (CAM) - FC Barcelona (ESP) - 13 goals*2 - 26 points

5. Nicolas Anelka (FRA) - Chelsea (ENG) - 12 goals*2 - 24 points

5. Daniel Nannskog (SWE) - Stabaek IF (NOR) - 16 goals*1,5 - 24 points

With most of the main European competitions only being halfway, it's not abnormal to see players from the Scandinavian and Russian competitions so high up the rankings. These leagues have summer competitions, which means there are no league games during the winter. The league-season in these countries is almost over and so is the hope of their top goal-scorers of winning the Golden Boot.

The man topping the table is probably the most remarkable name on the list. Austrian striker Marc Janko has managed to bag a staggering 25 goals in a mere 18 games.

His club, Red Bull Salzburg, has just been crowned as Austrian "Herbstmeister", scoring 49 goals in their 18 league matches and losing only two of these matches. Dutchman Co Adriaanse's side are playing free-flowing and fluid attacking football, with Marc Janko as its main exponent.

The tall forward has scored over half of the goals of his team this season and has already beaten the goal-scoring record for his club, which was previously held by Oliver Bierhoff.

The former German international managed to score 23 goals in a single season, but halfway into the current season, Janko has already beaten this record. If he can maintain his current form, he will shatter this record and set an almost unbeatable new record.

In fact, Janko even stand a fair chance to beat the record no-one ever thought could be beaten. Prolific forward Hans Krankl, by many considered to be the best Austrian footballer ever, set an incredible record in the 1977/'78 season by scoring a staggering 41 goals for Rapid Wien. After this incredible season, Krankl moved on to Barcelona.

Janko has got an incredible goal-scoring ratio of 1,56 goals a game, or one goal every 64 minutes he's on the pitch. If he can maintain this form, Janko can cement his name onto a list of Austria's most prolific forwards.

Hans Krankl (twice), Toni Polster, Robert Dienst, and Gerhard Rodax all managed to score 35 or more goals in a single season. Janko only needs 10 more goals to get there, and he potentially has half a season left to get there, so another 18 league games to score 10 goals.

Janko's progression under his new coach Adriaanse has been nothing short of miraculous, especially if you consider his previous goal-scoring record. Before this season, Janko bagged 20 goals in his entire career, which comprised 53 league games. It sure looks like Janko has now found his goal-scoring boots.

Now, the question remains, which club will benefit from the Austrian's new-found killer-instinct.

His incredible goal-scoring record has attracted foreign interest. Several German Bundesliga clubs have sent their scouts to Salzburg. Hertha BSC and Werder Bremen have expressed an interest in the tall (1 metre 90) forward.

Interest in Salzburg's goal-scorer isn't just restricted to German clubs, however, as rumours have started circulating that link English Premiership clubs Blackburn Rovers and Tottenham Hotspur to Marc Janko.

It looks like the only one who can prevent Marc Janko from mounting a serious challenge on Hans Krankl's legendary goal-scoring record is Marc Janko himself—by moving to a foreign club his attempt would be halted at 25 goals.

With the Austrian winter-break lasting almost two months, a move to foreign club in January seems like a very realistic option, according to many pundits. Janko refuses to look that far ahead and wants to focus on the four remaining games before this break.

Four more games that can bring him closer to Krankl's record and after that, who knows what the future has in store for this Austrian fox-in-the-box?

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