Messi closing in on Suarez & Ronaldo in European Golden Shoe race

The Argentina international has been on unstoppable form in recent weeks, where the pacesetters failed to find the net this weekend

Liverpool attacker Luis Suarez continues to lead the race for the European Golden Shoe with a one-goal lead over second-placed Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, but Lionel Messi’s fine form for Barcelona in recent weeks has seen last year’s winner storm into the top three.

Suarez proved unable to find the net in Liverpool’s 2-1 win over West Ham United, while Ronaldo sat out Madrid’s victory over Real Sociedad.

Meanwhile, Messi added two goals to his tally as Barcelona beat Betis 3-1 at the weekend and has now closed the gap with Suarez to four, level with Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa.

Elsewhere, Jonatan Soriano and Alfred Finnbogason both found the net once as they are battling it out for fifth position, with sixth-placed Daniel Sturridge failing to strike for Liverpool.

Torino striker Ciro Immobile has broken into the top 10 following his winner against Catania, while Yaya Toure finds himself on 18 goals too as the top scoring midfielder in Europe.

History & How It Works

Players such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Diego Forlan have won the European Golden Shoe in the past few seasons, with the Argentina international as the latest winner of the award following his 46 goals in 2012-13.

Other noteworthy winners include the likes of Francesco Totti, Luca Toni, Ronaldo, Marco van Basten, Eusebio and Gerd Muller.

The weightings are determined by the league’s ranking on the Uefa coefficients, which in turn depend on the results of each league’s clubs in European competition over the previous five seasons. Goals scored in the top five leagues according to the Uefa coefficients are multiplied by a factor of two, and goals scored in the leagues ranked six to 21 are multiplied by 1.5. Goals in all other leagues are worth one single point.

This measure has prevented players from so-called weaker leagues from winning the European Golden Shoe, since a goal scored in, for example, Armenia, Estonia or Azerbaijan, carries less weight than a goal scored in Serie A, La Liga, the Bundesliga or the Premier League.

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