How The European Golden Shoe Race Looks Without Penalties
Lionel Messi looks likely to win his sixth European Golden Shoe at the end of this season but what if goals from the penalty spot were taken away, would he still be top of the charts?
The news that Lionel Messi is top of the European Golden Shoe race won't exactly surprise many people. The Barcelona forward is rather good at scoring goals and he seems to break scoring records at least four times a season.
This season the Argentina forward could break his own record for the most Golden Shoes won. He currently has five, with long term rivals Cristiano Ronaldo on four, and he's looking good for another.
So far this season Messi has bagged 29 goals for Barca. It's not the most in Europe, Zakaria Beglarishvili has 30 and Liliu has 31, but the award is given on a points system with the top competitions holding a two time multiplier and lower leagues carrying less.
That means Messi is top with 58 points, PSG's Kylian Mbappe is in pursuit in second with 52 points and Fabio Quagliarella is rolling back the years in third place, with 42 points.
Mbappe is only three goals away because of the points system but, as per Give Me Sport, he'd actually be level at the top if penalties were discounted:
50 points - Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe
34 points - Sadio Mane and Krzysztof Piatek
32 points - Sergio Aguero and Duvan Zapata
31.5 points - Luuk de Jong
30 points - Fabio Quagliarella, Luis Suarez, Robert Lewandowski, Zakaria Beglarishvili, Paulinho, Luka Jovic, Raheem Sterling and Arkadiusz Milik
28.5 points - Mbwana Samatta
28 points - Cristiano Ronaldo, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mohamed Salah, Wissam Ben Yedder and Paco Alcacer
27 points - Robert Skov
Clearly Quagliarella, who became Italy's oldest ever goalscorer earlier this week, is a loser in the hypothetical situation but not as much as one fellow Serie A striker.
Cristiano Ronaldo is currently in fourth with his 19 goals, two behind the top scorer in Italy's top tier, but discounting his five penalties would drop him way down the list.
It's not doing anything to help his 'penaldo' reputation of being someone who just scores a lot from the spot, although of course it's still pretty unfair.
It is interesting that Ronaldo is often considered the better goalscorer of the pair, even if Messi is considered better all round, but the Argentine has more Golden Shoe awards to his name.
Will Messi once again be the king of scoring in Europe or can Mbappe catch him?