Golden Shoe and Espadrille

Who's taken top spot?

Last Updated: 16/05/12 4:55pm

Who's that? The Golden Espadrille winner 2011-12

The race for the greatest individual prizes in football is back on!

Over the last 10 years the Golden Shoe and Espadrille have become two of the most prestigious awards in the game, with past winners including Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Didier Drogba and last year's winner, Gary Hooper.

For decades kids in playgrounds, men and women at work and friends sat in front of the box have asked; who is the best striker around right now?

Is it the player who scores the most, or the forward that always seems to deliver in the important matches?

Well, here at Soccer AM we think the players with the best goals-to-games ratio should be recognised, which is why for the remainder of the season we will be revealing who, in our opinion, are the best strikers in Europe.

The Golden Shoe takes into account all the players in the top four tiers of the English game as well as the Scottish Premier League, while the Espadrille will be focusing on the top forwards from Italy's Serie A, Spain's La Liga and of course our very own Premier League.

To qualify, players must have played in at least half of their side's matches this season and only league goals count.

So without further ado here are the most prolific strikers in Europe at the end of the 2011-2012 season...

The Golden Shoe

The 2011-2012 season Golden Shoe goes to...Jordan Rhodes! The Huddersfield Town striker has had a sensational year for the Terriers, bagging 36 goals in 40 games to propel the Yorkshire side into the League One play-offs, where they saw off MK Dons to reach the Wembley final.

We wonder if Roy Hodgson was wishing Rhodes had opted for England over Scotland when he was picking his Euro 2012 squad this week. Anyone with a goal ratio of 0.90 would surely come in handy out in Poland and Ukraine!

And at just 22 years old we expect Jordan 'goal machine' Rhodes to feature in Golden Shoe lists for years to come!

Rhodes netted seven more than second-placed Ched Evans, who was enjoying a fine season for Sheffield United before a prison sentence ended his campaign.

With two League One frontmen at the top of the leaderboard Manchester United and England ace Wayne Rooney has had to settle for third spot.

Rooney bagged 27 in 34 in the top flight this term, giving him an equal goals/game ratio to Robin van Persie, who joins Wayne on the podium with 30 in 38.

Also in the top ten are title-winning Manchester City's Sergio Aguero (23 in 34), Celtic's Gary Hooper (24 in 37) and Southampton's Rickie Lambert (27 in 42).

PLAYERTEAM GOALSGAMESRATIO
Jordan RhodesHuddersfield Town36400.90
Ched EvansSheffield United29360.81
Wayne RooneyManchester United27340.79
Robin van PersieArsenal30380.79
Sergio AgueroManchester City23340.68
Nikica JelavicEverton23350.66
Gary HooperCeltic24370.65
Rickie LambertSouthampton27420.64
Sone AlukoRangers12210.57
Yakubu Blackburn17300.57

The Golden Espadrille

He's the best player in the world, he's Barcelona's all-time top scorer and now Lionel Messi has sealed the 2011-2012 Golden Espadrille!

Pushed all the way by Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo the Argentina maestro continued to find the net even when Barca's title hopes were over, bagging all four goals in his side's final home game of the season against Espanyol.

The Catalan giants have been unable to replicate their dominance of last season but Messi can take comfort in the knowledge his record-breaking 50 goals in 37 games in La Liga - at a rate of 1.35 goals per game - has seen him crowned Europe's best forward.

Second-placed Ronaldo will be disappointed to finish four goals behind Messi, but with 46 strikes in 38 games and a La Liga winner's medal in his pocket the Portuguese can be more than happy with his efforts this season.

Over in Italy Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been leading the way in Serie A. The big Swede has netted 28 in 32 which, although not on the same level as the La Liga duo, is still an impressive haul - although not enough for Milan to beat Juve to the title.

Rooney is fourth on the list, followed by van Persie ahead of Diego Milito (Inter Milan) and Falcao (Atletico Madrid), who have both netted 24 times this term.

PLAYERTEAM GOALSGAMESRATIO
Lionel MessiBarcelona50371.35
Cristiano RonaldoReal Madrid46381.21
Zlatan IbrahimovicAC Milan28320.79
Wayne RooneyManchester United27340.79
Robin van PersieArsenal30380.79
Diego MilitoInter Milan 24330.73
FalcaoAtletico Madrid24340.71
Sergio AgueroManchester City23340.68
Edinson CavaniNapoli23350.66
Nikica JelavicEverton23350.66