Golden Shoe 2018-19: Top Goalscorers in Europe, Updated Standings on Feb. 18

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2019

GELSENKIRCHEN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 6: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona  during the German DFB Pokal  match between Schalke 04 v Fortuna Dusseldorf at the Veltins Arena on February 6, 2019 in Gelsenkirchen Germany (Photo by Jeroen Meuwsen/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Lionel Messi was back on the scoresheet on Saturday as Barcelona extended their lead at the top of La Liga with a 1-0 win over Real Valladolid

He remains three goals clear at the head of the European Golden Shoe standings after Kylian Mbappe and Cristiano Ronaldo also both found the net at the weekend for Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus, respectively.

Krzysztof Piatek continued to make a move up the standings as he netted twice in AC Milan's 3-1 win at Atalanta on Saturday.

He is now on 17 goals for the 2018-19 Serie A season having scored four in four in the league since moving to the San Siro on loan from Genoa in January.

Here are the latest standings after the weekend's action:

                   

1. Lionel Messi, Barcelona: 22 x 2.0 difficulty factor = 44.0  

T2. Kylian Mbappe, Paris Saint-Germain: 19 x 2.0 = 38.0  

T2. Cristiano Ronaldo, Juventus: 19 x 2.0 = 38.0

T4. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool: 17 x 2.0 = 34.0

T4. Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain: 17 x 2.0 = 34.0

T4. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City: 17 x 2.0 = 34.0

T4. Krzysztof Piatek, Genoa/AC Milan: 17 x 2.0 = 34.0

T8. Fabio Quagliarella, Sampdoria: 16 x 2.0 = 32.0

T8. Nicolas Pepe, Lille: 16 x 2.0 = 32.0

T8. Duvan Zapata, Atalanta: 16 x 2.0 = 32.0

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

For example, the Estonian Meistriliiga has a factor of just one, so Liliu's 31 goals for Kalju are worth just one point each, whereas Messi's are worth double that because of La Liga's factor.

               

Messi, 31, had scored in eight La Liga games in a row before Barca's 0-0 draw with Athletic Bilbao last time out.

He made sure his scoring drought in the Spanish top flight lasted just one game as he netted the only goal of the match to seal all three points for the league leaders against Real Valladolid.

The Argentinian converted from the penalty spot just before half-time, tucking a fine spot-kick into the corner after Gerard Pique had been fouled in the area by Michel

In the second half Messi and Luis Suarez were then regularly denied by the impressive Jordi Masip, who saved the five-time Ballon d'Or winner's second penalty in the 85th minute. But Barca had enough to claim the win anyway. 

With Real Madrid squandering a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 at home on Sunday to Girona, the victory means Barca have now stretched their lead at the top of La Liga to seven points:

PSG have a 12-point lead at the top of Ligue 1 and have two games in hand over closest challengers Lille.

They followed up their impressive 2-0 win against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Tuesday with a 1-0 triumph at Saint-Etienne on Sunday.

As with the clash against United, Neymar and Edinson Cavani were both sidelined for the Saint-Etienne match, so the onus was on Mbappe to provide the attacking spark.

And again the 20-year-old Frenchman did not disappoint as he made the vital contribution in the 73rd minute, finishing superbly on the volley after Dani Alves' ball over the top of the defence.

Mbappe is now just a goal away from his first-ever 20-goal season in the league with 15 matches still to be played:

Ronaldo, meanwhile, also needs just one more strike to hit 20 goals in the league for the 10th season running.

The 34-year-old's 19th Serie A goal came as Juve beat Frosinone 3-0 on Friday to extend their lead at the top the table to 13 points.

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 15: Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus  during the Italian Serie A   match between Juventus v Frosinone at the Allianz Stadium on February 15, 2019 in Turin Italy (Photo by Peter Lous/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Ronaldo laid off to Paulo Dybala for his stunning opener in the sixth minute and then got on the scoresheet himself just after the hour, sweeping home Juve's third from inside the box after a team move.

The Portuguese will need a glut of goals in the near future if he is to put pressure on Messi in the race for the Golden Shoe.

They are the only two players to have ever won the award more than once, and Ronaldo needs to be Europe's top goalscorer this season to tie Messi's record of five. 

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