In the two weeks since our last update, Cristiano Ronaldo has stolen ahead of Aleksandrs Čekulajevs at the top of the ESM Golden Shoe standings.
However, if the Real Madrid CF forward is to retain the award he claimed last season with an unprecedented 40 goals in a Spanish Liga campaign, he will need to ward off the growing threat of FC Barcelona rival Lionel Messi and Arsenal FC's prolific captain Robin van Persie.
Though Madrid won 1-0 at Getafe CF on Saturday, Ronaldo drew a rare blank, while Messi climbed to joint-second place in the ESM Golden Shoe rankings courtesy of his 23rd Liga goal of the season, which helped Barcelona to a 2-1 success against Real Sociedad de Fútbol. The 2011 FIFA Ballon d'Or winner is now two strikes shy of his 200th Liga goal for the European champions.
The biggest mover in the European goalscorers' charts, however, was Van Persie, who is up to fourth spot after netting his second hat-trick of the campaign in Arsenal's 7-1 humbling of Blackburn Rovers FC. The Netherlands attacker has plundered 22 goals in 24 Premier League outings to stand within four points – or two goals – of Ronaldo.
ESM Golden Shoe standings: 6 February 2012
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF) 24 x 2 = 48
2= Aleksandrs Čekulajevs (JK Trans Narva) 46 x 1 = 46
2= Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 23 x 2 = 46
4. Robin van Persie (Arsenal FC) 22 x 2 = 44
5. Burak Yılmaz (Trabzonspor AŞ) 25 x 1.5 = 37.5
6. Seydou Doumbia (PFC CSKA Moskva) 24 x 1.5 = 36
7. Mario Gomez (FC Bayern München) 17 x 2 = 34
8= Demba Ba (Newcastle United FC) 16 x 2 = 32
8= Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (FC Schalke 04) 16 x 2 = 32
8= Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio) 16 x 2 = 32
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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