Cristiano Ronaldo is now joint top of the ESM Golden Shoe rankings, but Lionel Messi is breathing down his neck after a weekend hat-trick.
Real Madrid CF forward Ronaldo scored twice on Sunday to take his total to 23 for the season, meaning he is now level at the top of the rankings with 46-goal JK Trans Narva striker Aleksandrs Čekulajevs. However, the biggest mover in the fortnight since UEFA.com's last update has been Messi, with five strikes – including three at Málaga CF on Sunday – bringing him to within one goal of Europe's leading domestic marksmen.
Ronaldo won last season's Golden Shoe with a phenomenal 40 goals in just 34 Liga games, with Messi, his nearest rival, finishing the season nine goals – or 18 points – behind him. "
Repeating these figures will be very difficult but nothing is impossible and I'm going to continue to work hard to achieve it," said Ronaldo. Once more, it seems that 2009/10 winner Messi will be his main rival.
Two more goals for Arsenal FC have lifted Robin van Persie above Seydou Doumbia into fourth, and the PFC CSKA Moskva man can expect a few other strikers to pass him in the weeks leading up to the resumption of the Russian season. Burak Yılmaz is now his closest rival on 33 points, having hit three more for Trabzonspor AŞ in the past two weeks.
There has been little substantial movement elsewhere in the rankings, but the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimović and Falcao have now entered the leaderboard, though both are nine goals shy of Ronaldo's total.
ESM Golden Shoe standings: 22 January 2012
1= Aleksandrs Čekulajevs (JK Trans Narva) 46 x 1 = 46
1= Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF) 23 x 2 = 46
3. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 22 x 2 = 44
4. Robin van Persie (Arsenal FC) 19 x 2 = 38
5. Seydou Doumbia (PFC CSKA Moskva) 24 x 1.5 = 36
6. Burak Yılmaz (Trabzonspor AŞ) 22 x 1.5 = 33
7. Mario Gomez (FC Bayern München) 16 x 2 = 32
8= Demba Ba (Newcastle United FC) 15 x 2 = 30
8= Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (FC Schalke 04) 15 x 2 = 30
10= Sergio Agüero (Manchester City FC) 14 x 2 = 28
10= Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio) 14 x 2 = 28
10= Falcao (Club Atlético de Madrid) 14 x 2 = 28
10= Olivier Giroud (Montpellier Hérault SC) 14 x 2 = 28
10= Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid CF) 14 x 2 = 28
10= Zlatan Ibrahimović (AC Milan) 14 x 2 = 28
10= Robert Lewandowski (Borussia Dortmund) 14 x 2 = 28
10= Lukas Podolski (1. FC Köln) 14 x 2 = 28
Only the leading five countries – Spain, Italy, Germany, France and England – in the UEFA rankings have two as their multiplier. This is to emphasise the difference in (international) performance level between clubs from those countries and those of other nations. A player cannot play first in a summer league (e.g. Norway) and then in a winter league (e.g. Spain) and combine the points totals for each season.
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