The Golden Shoe and Espadrille

Who are the most in-form strikers on European soil?

Last Updated: 25/05/11 4:46pm

Ronaldo: breaks La Liga record

The race for the greatest individual prizes in football are over for another season!

The Golden Shoe and Espadrille are swiftly becoming two of the most prestigious awards in the game, with past winners including Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and Lionel Messi.

We all love goals and we love the men who score them even more, but just who are the best at sticking the ball in the back of the net?

Is it the player who nets the most, or the striker that always seems to pop up with that vital goal in big matches?

Well here at Soccer AM we think the players with the best goals-to-games ratio should be recognised, which is why every week we - with a little help from our friends at Opta - we have been revealing who are statistically the best frontmen in Europe.

The Golden Shoe took into account all the players from the top four divisions in England as well as the SPL, while The Espadrille focused on the best forwards from Italy's Serie A, Spain's Primera Division and, of course, our very own English and Scottish top flights.

To qualify, players had to have played in at least half of their side's matches this season and only league goals counted... here are the final standings!

The Golden Shoe

It's official, Gary Hooper is the most prolific striker in England and Scotland!

The Celtic hitman capped an excellent debut season in the SPL by claiming this season's Soccer AM Golden Shoe to add to his Scottish Cup winner's medal at the weekend.

The former Scunthorpe striker finished with a goals-to-games ratio of 0.77 - 0.05 better off than Robin van Persie - however it was by no means a comfortable victory.

In a season of twists and turns, the lead at the top of the table swapped hands several times, before Hooper took his chance.

Van Persie's stunning form since the turn of the year meant he went into Arsenal's final game of the season knowing a hat-trick would see him leapfrog the England U21 star.

However, it proved one feat too many for the Dutch magician, whose sublime left foot could only conjure up a solitary effort against Fulham - albeit his 18th league goal in as many games!

Elsewhere, Dimitar Berbato - who held the lead for several weeks - finishes sixth in the table after the excellent form of Javier Hernandez saw him largely confined to cameo appearances off the Manchester United bench in the second half of the season.

While, Crewe Alexandra's Clayton Donaldson will no doubt be thrilled with his fourth place finish and a ratio of 0.65, thanks to his 28 goals for the League Two side - the most in the top ten.

PLAYERTEAM GOALSGAMESRATIO
Gary HooperCeltic20260.77
Robin van Persie Arsenal18250.72
Nikica JelavicRangers16230.70
Clayton DonaldsonCrewe 28430.65
Carlos TevezManchester City20310.65
Dimitar BerbatovManchester United20320.63
Cody McDonaldGillingham25410.61
Craig Mackail-SmithPeterborough27450.60
Kris CommonsDerby/Celtic 24400.60
Ryan LoweBury27460.59

*Accurate as of 25/05/11

The Golden Espadrille

Gary Hooper might be the most prolific striker in the land, but even he can't match the exploits of Cristiano Ronaldo!

After a season of plaudits we've simply run out of superlatives to describe the Real Madrid star's goalscoring prowess, so we'll just let the stats do the talking instead!

In 34 appearances in La Liga this season he has hit the back of the net a record breaking 40 times, giving him a goals-to-games ratio of 1.18!

The Portuguese goal machine scored his 39th and 40th goal of the campaign against lowly Almeria at the weekend, breaking the Primera Division record for the most goals in a single season in the process.

Ronaldo, who had scored nine goals in his previous three games heading into Saturday's fixture, made it 53 in all competitions for Real this season.

His second against Almeria saw the former Manchester United striker move one clear of the previous all-time record, which was jointly held by Real's Hugo Sanchez, from the 1989-90 season, and Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra, who achieved the feat during the 1959-60 campaign.

PLAYERTEAM GOALSGAMESRATIO
Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid40341.18
Lionel MessiBarcelona31330.94
Antonio Di NataleUdinese28360.78
Gary HooperCeltic20260.77
Edinson CavaniNapoli26350.74
Robin van Persie Arsenal18250.72
Nikica JelavicRangers16230.70
Carlos TevezManchester City20310.65
Dimitar BerbatovManchester United20320.65
Sergio AgueroAtletico Madrid20320.63

*Accurate as of 25/05/11