Swedish international Henrik Larsson underlined his claim to Europe's Golden Shoe at the weekend with a hat-trick for Celtic FC against Dunfermline Athletic FC in the Scottish Premier League.
While Larsson seeks to retain the individual prize he won last year, so his goals look like taking Celtic to a repeat of their 2001 championship win. He struck three times in the first half to take the league leaders 13 points clear of rivals Rangers FC - and could even afford to miss a fourth-minute penalty.
Larsson on the rise
Consequently, the 30-year-old jumped four places in the Golden Shoe standings, from tenth to sixth. Joining him there - as well as on 23 league goals for the season - was KRC Genk's Wesley Sonck. The Belgian international grabbed a brace in his side's 4-4 draw with KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen.
Morientes moves up
The biggest mover, though, was Fernando Morientes of Real Madrid CF. Now eleventh in the rankings (he was 63rd last week) he hit five in Madrid's 7-0 thrashing of UD Las Palmas. Newcastle United FC's Alan Shearer, and Dario Hubner and Marco di Vaio of Piacenza FC and Parma AC, are level on points with the Spanish international. All scored at the weekend - with Hubner and Di Vaio's efforts taking them top of the Italian goal charts with 15 apiece.
Jardel leads the way
However, it is Mario Jardel who leads the pan-European table from Maksim Gruznov from the Estonian club JK Trans Narva. But with the Estonian season over, the Brazilian's nearest challengers remain the FA Premiership-based Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC), Ruud van Nistelrooij (Manchester United FC) and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Chelsea FC).
Like Jardel, who failed to find the target in Sporting Clube de Portugal's 1-1 draw with Gil Vicente FC, they all drew blanks at the weekend.
Latest standings (only league goals count):
Last updated 11 February 2002
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