Soulier d’Or or the Golden Boot is the award given to the top scorer in the league matches of the Top Division from every European National League. Since 1997, the award has undergone a change, including a point system for weighing in favour of higher-ranked leagues. The European Golden Boot is one of the most coveted laurels in the continent and all the elite players have their eyes on it. Ciro Immobile won the title last year but is not in contention to retain the title.
Let’s take a look at the forerunners for the competition this year.
ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI – 35
Averaging a goal every hour, the Polish striker is by far the most prominent striker this season. 35 goals in 25 matches.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) March 13, 2021
The teams in Bundesliga fear the Bayern Munich striker who seldom fails to find the target. Hungry for goals, and the legs to get them, Robert Lewandowski is the leader of the pact. In Bundesliga, he is 12 goals clear of the nearest rival and has 10 more than any other player in Europe. Bayern Munich’s asset is a force to reckon with!
CRISTIANO RONALDO – 25
A conversation about goal scoring without Cristiano Ronaldo would be outright bizarre. The 36-year-old Portuguese has an appetite for goals like no other. The frustration when he fails to hit the mark is a testament to the winning attitude of Portugal’s all-time leading goal scorer.
His time in a Serie A has been riddled with ups and downs. A frustrating 2019/2020 season was shrugged off with a posh start to the current campaign. Scoring 30+ goals every season is no easy task, but the Juventus forward makes it look so! However, Ronaldo will be keen to get his hands on the prize that he hasn’t won since 2015. If there’s any man alive that can plug the ten-goal gap, it’s the No.7.
ANDRE SILVA – 23
The lesser-known Portuguese in the list, Andre Silva has been a goal machine this season. Scoring 23 goals in his 27 matches in the German League, Silva has been a blessing for Eintracht Frankfurt this season. His previous spells in Italy and Spain did not prove to be worth pondering.
Aumente o volume e aproveite 😘💥🦅
— Eintracht Frankfurt (@Eintracht_por) April 7, 2021
Silva is a decade younger than the captain of his Portugal National side but will look to overtake the man in this year’s challenge for the Golden Boot.
LIONEL MESSI – 23
The era of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo might be coming to a close, yet, the passion these two players exhibit for their trade is unerring. The dominance of the legends may have faded but they are still in contention for all the biggest individual awards in the game.
Leo #Messi has now won 35 trophies with Barcelona
— Leo Messi 🔟 (@WeAreMessi) April 18, 2021
Messi has found the net 23 times in 28 matches and also has ten assists to his name. The Argentinian has been the driving force in Barcelona and his presence is reassuring for the fans of the Catalan supporters. Will the record holder of the Golden Boot weave his magic to outscore the deficit?
ERLING HAALAND – 23
The tall lad from Norway is the hot topic in football. The Borussia Dortmund forward has 23 goals in 24 matches in the Bundesliga. Considered heir to the throne of Cristiano and Messi, Haaland has been a key figure in the German club’s line-up.
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) February 18, 2021
A constant threat to opposition defenders, Haaland is not a striker one would want to face. He can score from anywhere using any part of his body, a dangerous gift for a young striker. Haaland currently leads the Champions League scoresheet even though Dortmund was knocked out in the quarter-finals. Will he find his glory in the Bundesliga, let’s wait, and see?
KYLIAN MBAPPE – 23
The 22-year-old French international has 23 goals under his belt in the Ligue 1 in 28 matches. Injury rid seasons before the current campaign hampered the chances of the young winger from PSG. However, this season, Kylian Mbappe has hit the ground running, scoring at will.
— Kylian Mbappé (@KMbappe) March 11, 2021
His contributions in the Champions League have been as vital as his goals in the domestic League. Mbappe has a realistic chance of being Champions League top scorer and the Golden Boot winner if he manages to step up his gear. He and Haaland are the next rival pair the world might be craving for.
HARRY KANE – 21
England has one of the most competitive leagues in modern football and it may precisely be the reason for its under-representation in the goalscoring race. England international Harry Kane is one of only two names that make the conversation, the other being Liverpool’s Mohammed Salah.
— Premier League India (@PLforIndia) April 4, 2021
The Tottenham Hotspur captain has been the saviour for the club on many occasions. Finding ways to goal when all doors seem shut. The goal-scoring prowess of this 27-year-old is a nuisance for opposition managers. The 21-goal contribution in 30 games is two better than the man from Egypt. Will he savage a few more before the end of the season?
ROMELU LUKAKU – 21
Romelu Lukaku wasn’t able to find his footing in England and so made his journey to Italy. Inter Milan welcomed him with open arms and the Belgium striker has been gifting them goals since. 21 goals in 30 matches and the tally promises to rise.
The 27-year-old sets himself up well in the 6-yard box and rarely fails to convert. His goal contribution has been key to the recent success of the club in the league.
GERARD MORENO -20
The Villareal and Spanish centre forward has been the main man for the club this season. He has managed a goal every 109 minutes and has kept the team in contention for a Champions League spot this season. The forward should be proud of the goals he managed in just 26 matches.
If he plays his cards right, he could end up being the league’s top scorer.
KARIM BENZEMA -19
A household name in Madrid, Benzema sits third in contention in La Liga for most goals scored. The forward took over the goal-scoring responsibilities since Ronaldo departed and has been churning up good numbers for the team.
🔝🙌 ¡@Benzema, el 4º madridista con más partidos en la @LigadeCampeones!
1️⃣ @IkerCasillas (152 partidos)
2️⃣ @RaulGonzalez (132 partidos)
3️⃣ @SergioRamos (128 partidos)
4️⃣ Benzema / @Oficial_RC3 (109 partidos)#RealFootball | #UCL pic.twitter.com/2mAunHmWF7
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) April 15, 2021
Scoring 19 goals in 27 matches, Benzema has received reassuring faith from the manager despite his age. Benzema will look to add more goals before the end of the campaign and a potential challenge to Lionel Messi’s spot.