Bayern Munich marvel Robert Lewandowski is poised to end 2019 leading the chase for this season's European Golden Shoe on 19 goals, but Barcelona's Lionel Messi is gaining fast in the rankings.
Lewandowski leads Bundesliga rival Timo Werner by a single goal as both head into Germany's winter break, while Lazio's Ciro Immobile and Leicester City star Jamie Vardy are just off the pace with 17 goals apiece.
Messi was a rarity among the leaders this past weekend as he managed to score in a 4-1 win over Alaves, while each of Lewandowski, Werner and Immobile came up blank in their most recent outings.
AS Monaco striker Wissam Ben Yedder also entered the Golden Shoe's top 10 following his brace in a 5-1 drubbing of Lille, nudging the likes of Karim Benzema and Romelu Lukaku down the leaderboard.
1. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich: 19 x 2.0 = 38.0
2. Timo Werner, RB Leipzig: 18 x 2.0 = 36.0
T3. Ciro Immobile, Lazio: 17 x 2.0 = 34.0
T3. Jamie Vardy, Leicester City: 17 x 2.0 = 34.0
5. Erik Sorga, Flora Tallinn: 31 x 1.0 = 31.0
6. Ilia Shkurin, Energetik-BGU Minsk: 19 x 1.5 = 28.5
T7. Lionel Messi, Barcelona: 13 x 2.0 = 26.0
T7. Wissam Ben Yedder, AS Monaco: 13 x 2.0 = 26.0
T9. Kamil Wilczek, Brondby: 17 x 1.5 = 25.5
T10. Erling Haaland, Red Bull Salzburg: 16 x 1.5 = 24.0
T10. Karim Benzema, Real Madrid: 12 x 2.0 = 24.0
T10. Romelu Lukaku, Inter Milan: 12 x 2.0 = 24.0
Rules: UEFA has assigned every European league a difficulty rating between one and two, which is multiplied by a player's goal tally to calculate their points total.
For example, Serie A has a maximum rating of two, so Immobile's goals are worth more than Ilia Shkurin's goals in the Belarusian Premier League, which has a rating of 1.5.
Bayern's rise back to third in the Bundesliga has been aided by their recent run of three wins on the bounce, though Lewandowski failed to hit the back of the net in Saturday's 2-0 victory over Wolfsburg.
The Pole still has three goals in his last three games for Die Roten, though, having bagged in a 3-1 victory over Freiburg on Wednesday to go third in the Bundesliga's all-time scoring charts, per Fox Soccer:
RB Leipzig striker Werner was also held to a scoreless display when Julian Nagelsmann's side beat Augsburg 3-1 on Saturday, though like Lewandowski, he did take on the role of architect to grab an assist.
Germany star Werner remains on 18 goals this term—one below his Bayern rival in the Bundesliga and European rankings—having helped rescue a 3-3 draw against Borussia Dortmund with a brace on Tuesday:
Messi won a record-extending sixth European Golden Shoe last season and his third in succession, though winning a fourth straight individual title looks far from assured.
Barcelona shared the scoring in a relatively one-sided home win over Alaves, converting his 13th of the campaign to go one clear of Real Madrid's Benzema at the top of La Liga's goal charts:
Benzema came up blank when Real Madrid drew 0-0 at home to Athletic Club on Sunday, meaning Messi's contribution coincided with his team moving two points clear at the top of La Liga.
Leicester talisman Vardy again looks like a threat on this award after hitting a potent vein of form in the Premier League, though his opener at Manchester City on Saturday couldn't prevent a 3-1 loss, via Sky Sports (UK viewers only):
The veteran—who turns 33 in January—only played his first season of top-flight football in 2014-15 and continues to demonstrate a remarkable ability to contend with Europe's elite, via BBC 5 Live Sport:
Ben Yedder was joint-leader alongside Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe as Ligue 1's top scorer, but a brace against Lille took him up to 13 and gave him the outright lead before Christmas.
Immobile will end 2019 as top scorer in Serie A with 17 goals—five more than Inter star Lukaku—despite failing to score in his last two league outings.