Golden Shoe 2018-19: Top Goalscorers in Europe, Latest Points After New Year

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 2, 2019

BARCELONA, SPAIN - DECEMBER 22: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RC Celta de Vigo at Camp Nou on December 22, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Lionel Messi is joint-second in the race for the 2018-19 European Golden Shoe after scoring 15 times in Barcelona's first 17 La Liga matches of the season. 

Brazilian striker Liliu led the way into the new year courtesy of his outstanding 31-goal season for Estonian side Nomme Kalju in 2018, but Messi needs just one more goal to overtake him at the top of the standings.

Close behind the Barcelona talisman are Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Kane and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who all sit on 28 points having scored 14 league goals this season.

Here are the standings:

1. Liliu, Kalju: 31 goals x 1.0 difficulty factor = 31.0 points

T2. Lionel Messi, Barcelona: 15 x 2.0 = 30.0

T2. Paulinho, Hacken: 20 x 1.5 = 30.0

T2. Mbaye Diagne, Kasimpasa: 20 x 1.5 = 30.0

T2. Zakaria Beglarishvili, Flora: 30 x 1.0 = 30.0

T6. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus: 14 x 2.0 = 28.0

T6. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur: 14 x 2.0 = 28.0

T6. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Arsenal: 14 x 2.0 = 28.0

T6. Patrick Hoban, Dundalk: 28 x 1.0 = 28.0

T10. Robert Skov, FC Copenhagen: 18 x 1.5 = 27.0

Rules: All European leagues are assigned a difficulty factor between one and two by UEFA, which is multiplied by a player's goal tally to calculate their points total.

For example, the Estonian Meistriliiga has a factor of just one, so Liliu's goals for Kalju are worth just one point each, whereas Messi's are worth double that because La Liga's factor is two.

                           

Of those who realistically have a shot at winning the Golden Shoe this season, Messi is in pole position after a superb start to the campaign.

The Argentinian has been in fine form throughout, though he owes his position to a late flourish that saw him bag six goals in his final three La Liga matches of 2018.

Spain's top flight has been on hiatus over the festive period, but he'll have the chance to top the Golden Shoe standings when Barcelona return to action against Getafe on Sunday.

Serie A did not take its usual festive break this season, and Ronaldo capitalised with a goal against Atalanta on Boxing Day and a brace against Sampdoria on December 29:

Juve won't be in league action again until January 21, though, so his rivals have the opportunity to steal a march on him.

Kane and Aubameyang will hope to do so after they continued their personal battle for the Premier League's Golden Boot with a goal apiece on New Year's Day.

Kane's bundled-in opener against Cardiff City in Spurs' 3-0 win won't live long in the memory, but it marked an impressive milestone for the striker:

Meanwhile, Aubameyang wrapped up a 4-1 win for Arsenal over Fulham with a deflected effort.

His next chance to add to his Premier League tally will come on January 12 when the Gunners make their trip to West Ham United, while Kane faces Manchester United a day later.

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