The Golden Boot: Cristiano, Messi... and others

In the same way that both players have dominated the Ballon d’Or award for the past eight years, both Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi have given their rivals little look-in for the Golden Boot award too. In that time, only Uruguan strikers, Forlán and Luis Suárez have secured the award with four boots for Cristiano with Messi picking up three. This year however, the competition is more open: Luis Suárez is in the reckoning again and Higuaín, currently on target constantly for Napoli is a serious contender. Lewandowski, Jonas, Aubameyang, Benzema, Bale and Neymar are other candidates for this year’s award.

This I feel is a good thing. On one hand it suggests that Cristiano and Messi are becoming more human. Messi is some way behind the pack and this can be attributed to his long lay-off due to injury. In recent months though there isn’t a week that goes by without him scoring. Cristiano has lost that consistency and has become a ‘compulsive’ goal scorer, going for barren periods and then feasting by scoring three, four or more per game. It’s only in recent weeks that his goals have seen him back in the hunt for this prize. Luis Suárez is a constant prolific regular goal scorer and this year’s competition will no doubt be a closer run affair.

It’s good to have such an open, competitive field. It’s also interesting to see contrasting styles of goals being scored. The fast running and bullet style shots that Cristiano offers versus Messi’s more elaborate style of finding the net. In hot pursuit we find rhythmic goal scoring of Luis Suarez and Higuaín, the magic of Neymar, the distinguished finishing applied by Benzema, the complete striking option that Lewandowski offers, that strange mix of headed and goals scored with the left foot which is Bale's hallmark. All together offer a diverse range of the art of goal scoring. And this year Cristiano and Messi have got company.