European Golden Shoe update: Ronaldo edges in front of Messi


Last week, I complicated it. Over-complicated? Depends on how you look at this Golden Shoe, league modifier business. Regardless, I’m keeping it simple this week.

With the help of the folks at World Soccer, here’s where things stand after this weekend’s action. With two goals at Osasuna, Cristiano Ronaldo has taken a two-point, one-goal lead on Lionel Messi. After that, there’s a gap you’d need one of those Indiana Jones rope bridges to cross, and everybody knows those always snap (it even snapped on South Park).

Remember the rules? Goals are multiplied by two for players in Europe’s “top five” leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France).1 Players from the next 15 leagues get their goals multiplied by 1.5.

The other half of UEFA? Tough luck, minnows! Your goals only count one!

Rank Player Team League Goals Points
1 Cristiano Ronaldo Real Madrid Spain 37 74
2 Lionel Messi Barcelona Spain 36 72
3 Robin van Persie Arsenal England 26 52
4 Burak Yilmaz Trabzonspor Turkey 32 48
5 Aleksandrs Cekulajevs Trans Narva Estonia 46 46
5 Mario Gomez Bayern Munich Germany 23 46
5 Klaas-Jan Huntelaar Schalke Germany 23 46
8 Zlatan Ibrahimovic Milan Italy 22 44
9 Seydou Doumbia CSKA Russia 27 40.5
10 Radamel Falcao Atlético Madrid Spain 20 40
10 Gonzalo Higuain Real Madrid Spain 20 40
10 Wayne Rooney Manchester United England 20 40

Who is Aleksandrs Cekulajevs? A Latvian striker, Cekulajevs struggled at his one venture into mid-level Europe, eventually leaving the Czech Republic’s Nachod-Destne for Iceland after spending the first part of his career in Riga. Last year, he moved to Estonia where he has posted these acceptable results.

1 – Portugal is set to pass France for fifth in next year’s coefficient. Will their players get 2x? Will France’s players be knocked down to 1.5x? It’s really one of the biggest controversies in world soccer history. Stay tuned.