The Golden Shoe is a prestigious European award. Lionel Messi is currently the player with the most Golden Boots in the history of football, having won the award for the sixth time. Second place, with four Golden Boots, would go to Cristiano Ronaldo.
The European Golden Shoe is a recognition award for each football season that is given to the top scorer in the highest-ranked league of all European national leagues.
The trophy consists of a golden sculpture in the shape of a football boot. It was originally called Soulier d’Or in France and since 1997 it has been awarded mainly to the leagues with the best ranking.
Who awards the golden Shoe?
It was the French newspaper L’Équipe who presented the first project, but from the 1996-1997 season, European Sports Media based in Barcelona took over. The EMS, as an international body for football journalism, also awards other prizes such as:
- UEFA Player of the Year Award, the ESM is responsible for voting and administering the awards.
- UEFA Coach of the Year Award, which is presented annually.
- ESM team of the season, the 11 best players from September to May are chosen.
The Golden Shoe began in the 1967-1968 season when L’Equipe, the French sports daily, chose the best goal scorer of the season. The number of goals the player was able to score during the season was taken into account. The first winner with 42 goals was Eusébio da Silva Ferreira, player of SL Benfica, one of the best strikers in the history of football and an icon of Portuguese football.
In 1991 the publication was officially withdrawn after a complaint from the Cypriot football federation. They claimed that one of their players had scored more goals than the then prize-winner Darko Pancev (Kobra).
Adidas took over until 1996 and it was in 1997 that the Golden Shoe became part of European Sports Media.
It was in 2011, with the football newspaper Marca, that the criteria were modified and a weighted system was established to evaluate each league. The aim was to prevent athletes from lower leagues from having an advantage at a competitive level.
The most coveted Golden Shoe
The Golden Shoe of the 2011-12 season was one of the most coveted awards in the history of football. In fact, the newspaper Marca wrote in one of its publications “The most expensive Golden Shoe in history”. Of all the competitors who fought fiercely for the award, the champion was Lionel Messi with 50 goals and 100 points.
How is the Golden Shoe awarded?
The scoring of the Golden Shoe is established by coefficients for each competition and is assigned by UEFA as follows
Each goal scores 2 points: Spain, Germany, France, England, France and Italy
Each goal scores 1.5 points: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Scotland, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.
Each goal scores 1 point: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Faroe Islands, Georgia, Wales, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.
All-time Golden Shoe winners
From 1967 to 2020 these are the established winners by season, number of goals, score and teams:
In the last 22 years the award is led by Lionel Messi with six golden boots (2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019), Cristiano Ronaldo with four (2008, 2011, 2014, 2015) and with two shoes Luis Suárez (2014 and 2016) and Diego Forlán (2005 and 2009).