Lionel Messi stole the spotlight with four goals at the weekend as FC Barcelona beat Valencia CF 5-1 in the Argentinian's 200th Liga game. However, Cristiano Ronaldo has also hit four since UEFA.com's last ESM Golden Shoe update, and remains one strike ahead of his only realistic rival as the Real Madrid CF forward is to retain the award he claimed last season with an unprecedented 40 goals in a Liga campaign.
Ronaldo hit his sixth league hat-trick of the season in a 4-2 defeat of Levante UD on 12 February, and struck again in a 4-0 victory over Real Racing Club on Friday. The Portugal striker, 27, is on target to become the first player to win the Golden Shoe three times, and the first player to take the prize for Europe's top domestic scorer in successive seasons since Thierry Henry in 2004/05.
Aleksandrs Čekulajevs scored 46 goals in Estonia last year, and continues to outrank many of Europe's most famous strikers. As does Trabzonspor AŞ's fifth-ranked Burak Yılmaz, who has also registered four more since our last update, taking his total for the season to 29 – one more than Ronaldo, though his ESM Golden Shoe tally of 43.5 reflects the relative strengths of the Spanish and Turkish leagues.
ESM Golden Shoe standings: 20 February 2012
1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF) 28 x 2 = 56
2. Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) 27 x 2 = 54
3. Aleksandrs Čekulajevs (JK Trans Narva) 46 x 1 = 46
4. Robin van Persie (Arsenal FC) 22 x 2 = 44
5. Burak Yılmaz (Trabzonspor AŞ) 29 x 1.5 = 43.5
6= Seydou Doumbia (PFC CSKA Moskva) 24 x 1.5 = 36
6= Mario Gomez (FC Bayern München) 18 x 2 = 36
6= Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (FC Schalke 04) 18 x 2 = 36
9= Antonio Di Natale (Udinese Calcio) 17 x 2 = 34
9= Wayne Rooney (Manchester United FC) 17 x 2 = 34
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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