Lionel Messi leads Mohamed Salah in Golden Shoe race
By Peter Smith
Last Updated: 10/05/18 12:17pm
Mohamed Salah goes into Liverpool's final Premier League game of the season needing to score at least three times to stand any chance of getting his hands on the Golden Shoe.
The Egypt international had been in pole position to land Europe's prestigious top scorer prize a few weeks ago, but a glut of goals from Barcelona's Lionel Messi has left Salah with it all to do against Brighton on Sunday.
Get LFCTV half price
Liverpool fans, get closer to the club you love with half price LFCTV. Just £3.50 a month for 12 months.
Salah has 31 league goals in 2017/18, which have all-but assured him of the Premier League's golden boot.
However, while the Liverpool forward has drawn a blank in his last two league outings, Messi has hit five in three games to move on to 34 strikes for the season.
A hat-trick for Salah on Sunday, then, would give him the chance of sharing the award with Messi - but the Argentina international and his Barcelona team-mates still have two games to play.
European Golden Shoe race
|Robert Lewandowski||Bayern Munich||29||58||1|
|Mauro Icardi||Inter Milan||28||56||2|
Next in the race for the golden shoe are Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski and Lazio's Ciro Immobile, who have 29 goals each.
Lewandowski and the German champions have just one match left to play, on Saturday against Stuttgart, while Immobile, like Messi, has two more opportunities to add to his haul.
However, Salah, Lewandowski and Immobile will now have to pull off an extraordinary scoring feat to deny Messi a record fifth golden shoe.
Messi's previous Golden Shoe wins
2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2016/17
Were Salah to overtake Messi, the 25-year-old would become the first Premier League player to be crowned Europe's top marksman since another Liverpool forward, Luis Suarez, shared the award with Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago.
Ronaldo was the last player from the English top flight to win the European Golden Shoe outright, after scoring 31 goals to help Manchester United claim the 2007/08 Premier League title.
* Since the 1996/97 season, the Golden Shoe has been awarded based on a points system, with goals scored in Europe's top five leagues - according to the UEFA coefficients - multiplied by a factor of two