Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is on the verge of winning his second ESM (European Sports Media) Golden Shoe in three years. The wizardry Argentine’s four-goal haul against RCD Espanyol on Saturday night moved him to 50 La Liga goals, five ahead of his closest rival Cristiano Ronaldo who netted once in Real Madrid’s 2-1 win over Granada.
It was Messi’s second successive hat-trick and eighth in the La Liga this season. His latest included a sumptuous free kick, a cross-goal and two penalties which he dispatched mercurially to take his totally tally in all competitions to 72, a new world record for most goals in a season. The previous record was held by US international Archibald “Archie” Stark, who scored 70 goals for Bethlehem Steel in 1924-25 season.
Messi’s 50 goals (or more) are the highest by any player who has won the award before. La Liga rival Cristiano Ronaldo won the award last season with 40 goals which also gave him the Pichichi trophy but Messi looks certain to wrestle both trophies from him.
Robin Van Persie’s brace against Norwich City saw him equal Thierry Henry’s Arsenal record of 30 goals in a season and he sits third in the topscorer’s chart. RVP needs only two goals in the last match against West Brom in the final game of the season to record the most goals in a Premier League season beating Alan Shearer and Cristiano Ronaldo’s 31.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s brace in Schalke’s 3-2 win over Werder Bremen in the final game of the Bundesliga season moved him to fourth with 29 goals, one ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is placed fifth but has a game left.
Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez and Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney are tied in position six with 26 goals and 52 points while Bas Dost of SC Heerenveen in Holland and Burak Yilmaz of Trabzonspor in Turkey are also tied in 8th position with 32 strikes each but lesser points (48), since only the leading five countries – England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France– in the UEFA rankings have two as their multiplier.
Napoli’s Edinson Cavani, Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao, Inter Milan’s Diego Milito and Aleksandrs Cekulajevs of JK Trans Narva in Estonia are tied in position ten with 46 points each.
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