There is an impressive list of names who have previously triumphed in the European Golden Shoe award and everything is to play for in the 2023/24 season.
Manchester City attacker Erling Haaland won the prestigious prize for the first time last season. His 36-goal Premier League campaign set a new record in England’s top-flight and saw off his leading scoring rivals on the continent too.
After his transfer saga ended in a move to Bayern Munich, Harry Kane will bid to score the most goals in Europe during 2023/24. He netted 30 top-flight goals for a struggling Tottenham team last season and is one of the continent’s most consistent goalscorers, with a magnificent record in the Premier League.
Kylian Mbappe was another attacker facing an uncertain future as the season started. He has come close to winning this award before, scoring 27 or more goals in four of his last five Ligue 1 seasons with Paris Saint-Germain. He is yet to win the European Golden Shoe title, but is likely to be prominent in the standings once more.
Alexandre Lacazette and Victor Osimhen were other candidates from last season who will be back for more in the 2023/24 campaign, while Mohamed Salah will hope to bounce back from what was a quiet season, at least by his high standards.
Not all of the regular contenders are going to be in the running. At the start of last season, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Karim Benzema were all considered candidates to win the European Golden Boot.
But with all three of those greats now playing outside of the continent, a new era has begun.
Surprise contenders have often emerged in the past as well, with former Golden Shoe winner Ciro Immobile a regular challenger given his remarkable goalscoring consistency for Lazio.
This page will be updated throughout the 2023/24 season with regular updates on the European Golden Shoe standings.
Initially, our table tracking the European Golden Shoe standings will only list players from the top five European leagues, where the winner is most likely to emerge from.
Players from outside the top-five leagues in Europe are eligible to win the Golden Shoe, but the winner has not come from one of those divisions since 2002.
European Golden Shoe Standings
But the battle to win the European Golden Boot is now being led by Bayern Munich star Harry Kane, who has overtaken the early leader Serhou Guirassy over recent weeks.
Kane has scored 21 goals in just 15 Bundesliga matches, giving him the most goals in Europe’s top five leagues.
Any worries over his progress stalling slightly after Bayern had a recent match postponed before he did not score in the heavy 5-1 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt were emphatically ended when Kane struck twice as Bayern beat Stuttgart 3-0 and then netted from long-range in the 2-1 win over Wolfsburg.
Guirassy has netted 17 times in only 14 games in Germany’s top-flight so far this season, so he remains close behind.
The Stuttgart forward has already netted two hat-tricks in 2023/24, striking trebles against Mainz and Wolfsburg to propel himself towards the top of the standings.
Guirassy has scored further goals against Union Berlin, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen and Augsburg since the October international break to keep up the pressure on Kane and defending champion Haaland.
But he is still chasing Kane, who scored his third hat-trick of the season as Bayern thrashed Dortmund 4-0 in Der Klassiker in November. The former Tottenham striker followed that up with a double against Heidenheim and another goal in the match with Cologne.
Mbappe has been the fastest recent riser in the standings. The France star is now just three goals off the lead after his latest Ligue 1 goals for PSG.
The leading six players in the standings all have at least 14 goals in a competitive European Golden Boot battle, though Kane is the first to pass the 20-goal mark and looks like he will be tough to catch.
European Golden Shoe 2023/24
|Harry Kane (Bayern)
|Kylian Mbappe (PSG)
|Serhou Guirassy (Stuttgart)
|Lautaro Martinez (Inter)
|Erling Haaland (Man City)
|Mohamed Salah (Liverpool)
|Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)
|Borja Mayoral (Getafe)
|Son Heung-min (Tottenham)
|Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid)
|Artem Dovbyk (Girona)
|Lois Openda (RB Leipzig)
|Jarrod Bowen (West Ham)
|Victor Boniface (Bayer Leverkusen)
|Hwang Hee-chan (Wolves)
|Jonas Wind (Wolfsburg)
|Alvaro Morata (Atletico Madrid)
|Gerard Moreno (Villarreal)
|Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo)
|Ollie Watkins (Aston Villa)
|Alexander Isak (Newcastle)
|Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona)
|Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco)
|Olivier Giroud (AC Milan)
|Leroy Sane (Bayern)
|Romelu Lukaku (Roma)
|Akor Adams (Montpellier)
|Victor Osimhen (Napoli)
Haaland has started the season with 14 Premier League strikes for Manchester City, ensuring he sits towards the top of the standings, making a strong start in the race to score the most goals in Europe.
Last season’s winner netted twice for Man City as they thumped Burnley 3-0 on the opening night of the new Premier League season.
He did not strike when Man City played Newcastle, but scored a thumping header against Sheffield United in Matchday 3, with the relief on his face clear after he had earlier missed a penalty.
Haaland then scored a ruthless hat-trick in the 5-1 win over Fulham and netted again versus West Ham and Nottingham Forest, with City the only Premier League side with a 100% record through six games until they suffered a shock loss at Wolves, which was followed up by another defeat against title rivals Arsenal.
The Norway star and his team returned to form by defeating Brighton 2-1, with Haaland scoring in the first half. And he netted a double in the Manchester derby as Man City ruthlessly won 3-0 against Man Utd at Old Trafford, before scoring another brace in the unbelievable 4-4 draw at Chelsea.
Haaland’s latest goal came in the 1-1 draw between Man City and Liverpool. He did not score in the two matches he played after that and now has a foot injury, so has fallen further behind over recent weeks. Salah is now level with him in the EPL scoring standings.
The Bundesliga, meanwhile, started with a bang as champions Bayern earned an emphatic 4-0 win away to Werder Bremen to kick off the season.
Leroy Sane scored twice and new signing Kane opened his Bayern account on his Bundesliga debut to make it a great night for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Kane was at it again on MD2, marking his first home appearance with a double as Bayern beat Augsburg 3-1, while his first hat-trick for his new team soon arrived too as they recorded a fantastic 7-0 win over Bochum.
Another Kane hat-trick came as Bayern thrashed Darmstadt in October, with that treble including a stunning strike from inside his own half. The England captain has 21 goals and 42 Golden Shoe points.
Kane was the first player in Europe to reach 20 goals this season, while Sane is also impressing having reached eight goals and eight assists.
Bundesliga trio Lois Openda, Victor Boniface and Jonas Wind are among the other players in Germany to have made fast starts to the campaign.
Mbappe has moved on to 18 Ligue 1 goals for the campaign. He had scored three consecutive doubles for PSG until an injury in the 4-0 win against rivals Marseille and two subsequent goalless outings. But the striker is back on form with 11 goals in his last nine top-flight matches.
Amid an uncertain summer, Mbappe got off the mark for PSG after coming off the bench against Toulouse, winning and scoring a penalty. And he followed that up the next week with a fine performance in his first Ligue 1 start of the season, scoring twice in a good 3-1 win over Lens for the French champions. His other doubles have followed against Lyon, Nice and Brest before he scored a fine hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Reims. Mbappe then got another double as PSG defeated Metz on December 20.
Monaco star Wissam Ben Yedder, who has regularly appeared as a contender in the Golden Shoe standings over recent seasons, has eight goals so far.
In Italy, Inter forward Martinez has made an impressive start in Serie A and has reached 15 goals, putting him eight ahead of Victor Osimhen in the scoring standings.
Martinez came off the bench to score four goals in a stunning Serie A display for Inter against Salernitana in September.
Real Madrid midfielder Bellingham has made a brilliant start to life in La Liga, scoring 13 goals and adding two assists in his first 16 matches.
Alvaro Morata has also made a swift scoring start. His double in the derby win over Real Madrid has helped him up to nine for the campaign so far, while his Atletico team-mate Antoine Griezmann is now flying as well, having also reached 11 strikes, helped by a hat-trick away to Celta Vigo.
Barcelona striker Robert Lewandowski is on eight goals, five behind Bellingham and one behind Morata.
It has been an impressive start for many of Europe’s top scorers. For a while we had a surprise name sitting at the top of the Golden Shoe charts, but now Kane is staking his claim for a first title.
Who won the European Golden Shoe – Previous Winners
Lionel Messi has won the most European Golden Shoe titles.
The Inter Miami forward has triumphed on six occasions. His last success was in 2018/19 for Barcelona, and he did not win the award with PSG.
Cristiano Ronaldo is his closest challenger with four career wins, though the Al-Nassr attacker has not come out on top since 2014/15 when he was at Real Madrid, with his most recent spell at Man Utd not hitting the heights of his first.
European Golden Shoe: Most Wins
|Golden Shoe Wins
|1. Lionel Messi
|2. Cristiano Ronaldo
|3. Robert Lewandowski
|=3. Luis Suarez
|=3. Thierry Henry
|=3. Diego Forlan
|=3. Mario Jardel
|=3. Ally McCoist
|=3. Fernando Gomes
|=3. Dudu Georgescu
|=3. Gerd Muller
Robert Lewandowski’s triumph in 2021/22 means there are 10 players who have two Golden Shoe awards each, a list that also includes Luis Suarez and Thierry Henry.
Messi holds the record for most goals and points in a season as well. He remarkably scored 50 goals in 2011/12, earning himself 100 points.
Ronaldo has come closest to breaking that, scoring 48 goals for 96 points when he last won the crown in 2014/15.
Argentina forward Messi is the only player in European Golden Shoe history to win the title three years in a row, doing so from 2016/17 until 2018/19.
Ronaldo, though, is one of only four players to have won the title with different clubs. The others are Luis Suarez, Diego Forlan and Mario Jardel.
Lewandowski became the first Bundesliga winner since 1972 with the first of his two triumphs in the 2020/21 season, with his remarkable 41 goals from 29 games for Bayern being the best goal tally since 2015.
That came after Ciro Immobile won the 2019/20 European Golden Shoe, scoring 36 goals for Lazio in a tremendous Serie A season.
It was his first title, with the striker becoming the first Serie A player to have the most goals in Europe since Francesco Totti triumphed for Lazio’s rivals Roma in 2006/07.
Ligue 1 has not produced a winner since Josip Skoblar in 1971, despite the likes of Messi, Mbappe and Zlatan Ibrahimovic playing in the league.
Success for Erling Haaland in 2022/23 gave the Norway star his first European Golden Boot title.
Haaland was the first Premier League winner since Suarez achieved the feat with Liverpool in 2013/14.
Recent Golden Shoe Winners
What are the European Golden Shoe rules and weightings?
Only league goals are eligible for the European Golden Shoe, with each strike earning points in a weighted system depending on the quality of league.
The five elite leagues – Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 – all carry a weighting of 2, meaning that a player will be awarded two points for every goal they score in these competitions.
For the leagues ranked sixth to 21 in Uefa’s coefficients rankings – which includes the top-flights in Portugal and Netherlands – goals scored are given a weighting of 1.5, and goals scored in a league outside the top 21 are given a weighting of 1.
That was not always the case in the European Golden Shoe. From 1968 until 1991, the award simply went to the highest goalscorer on the continent, regardless of the strength of league.
Awards were not initially handed out between 1991 until 1996, when the new system came into force. Since then, only two players playing outside what were the five highest-ranked leagues at the time have ever won the Golden Shoe – Henrik Larsson (2000/01) and Mario Jardel (2001/02).
The Golden Shoe has been tied in the past, most recently when Suarez and Ronaldo shared the honour in 2013/14. Going forward, though, the award will be given to the player who has played the fewest minutes if two of them end up on the same number of points.
This page covers the 2023/24 European Golden Shoe race. All the details from the 2022/23 season can be found here.