Who are the top scorers in Europe's big five soccer leagues?
Lewandowski, Messi, Ronaldo, Kane, Salah, Mbappé... All the big names have been living up to their reputations as the best goalscorers, but who will come out on top?
The business end of the football season is well and truly into its final act. Despite the big leagues having many of the positions already decided, there are still some massive outcomes to be confirmed. LaLiga and Ligue 1 have clubs battling it out for the title right to the wire, while European and relegation places are still in the balance.
Top scorers: European leagues and Golden Shoe
Then there are the individual awards to be won, and there is little doubt that the top scorer in each country and the continent as a whole is the most important. We have a glance through the contenders as we head into the final day's play.
(Note: the competition used to be called the Golden Boot, but is called the Golden Shoe by current organisers European Sports Media).
Top scorer: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur may have tried to build on the successes of Mauricio Pochettino by bringing in José Mourinho but the club has had a disappointing season, with the Portuguese manager being pushed out the door prematurely. As has been the case for several seasons, their hopes have lay in the boots and head of their English striker Harry Kane and he leads the way in the race for the league's Golden Boot, tied on 22 with Liverpool's Mohamed Salah, despite The Reds also having a poor season given the high standards set over recent years.
If Kane is to pick up the award, it looks as though it'll be his last contribution for the club he loves, with reports that he has finally made his mind up to leave and win more collective silverware, with Manchester his most likely destination.
Top scorer: LaLiga
There is little surprise in Spain to see that once again Barcelona's Lionel Messi is top of the goalscoring pile. And although winning the individual award will give him some comfort, it will be scant reward for another disappointing season for the Catalan club.
Knocked out of the Champions League by PSG and not in the final reckoning for the domestic title - which will be won by a club with Madrid in the name - many signs point to the Argentine ace looking for a new challenge come the summer.
Behind Messi in the Spanish goal charts come Villarreal's Gerard Moreno and Real Madrid's Karim Benzema, although the most impactful, some would argue is the man in fourth place. With a game to go, Luis Suárez has one third less goals than his old Barça friend, but barring a huge shock his goals will go down as those crucial to taking Atlético to the title.
Top scorer: Bundesliga
There is only one man to talk about in the German top flight. Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski has been guaranteed the Bundesliga's top scorer prize for several weeks, already having 40 in the bag. He equalled Gerd Müller's 49-year-old German league goal record when he scored with a 26th minute penalty in his team's 2-2 draw at Freiburg and now has a final game against Augsburg to add to it and break the record that has stood since 1971/72.
The Poland striker is already second on the all-time scorers list in the Bundesliga, with 276 goals, behind only Müller's 365, and his goals have propelled the Bavarians to their ninth consecutive league crown.
OK, so the numbers point to Lewi, but let's give a special shout out for two others making a name for themselves. Most households around the world will now be aware of the young goalscoring phenomenon that is Erling Haaland and he is likely to boost his net filling hobby when he leaves Dortmund, which he will this summer or the next. Another mention goes to Eintracht's André Silva who made our 2020/21 transfer XI.
Top scorer: Serie A
Just as in Spain and Germany the name at the top of the goalscoring list in Italy is one that does not cause too much surprise. Cristiano Ronaldo has been battling out for the goal awards for over a decade, no matter how well his team are doing. And that has certainly been the case this season as Juventus have struggled in Serie A and failed to make it ten titles in a row.
Six goals behind the former Real Madrid and Manchester United star lies Romelu Lukaku who turned his disappointing spell with the Red Devils into an impressing Scudetto-winning season with Inter.
Top scorer: Ligue 1
With a lead of six goals going into the final weekend, Kylian Mbappé is unlikely not to end the season as the main marksman. Despite his 26 league goals, however, and in a similar story to those of Messi and Cristiano, they may not prove enough for another domestic triumph.
Ironically, there is no Lille player in the top five - that honour sits with Burak Yilmaz on 15 - but they are favourites to pip the Parisien powerhouse to the title this weekend.
European Golden Shoe
As you may have worked out if you haven't immediately made a rush to the bottom of this article, the overall Golden Shoe winner across the European continent looks nailed on to be Bayern's Lewandowski.
A bigger doubt being raised in and around the goalscoring circles is whether or not this could be the last season that we see the dominant duo of Messi and Ronaldo in the top positions of this award. Then again, that question has been asked before, and much of the answer may be determined by where they are playing their football after the summer, and who they are surrounded by.
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