European Golden Shoe winners’ goal maps in the last 15 years

14.2.2021.  
European Golden Shoe winners’ goal maps in the last 15 years

Ballon d'Or gets the most recognition because of its historic value, and the fairytale-like name helps, FIFA has the most authority on brand value, but the individual award that should hold the most value is the European Golden Boot. Because it is won, not awarded. Old Continent's best shooters have the ultimate bragging rights but they don't get enough attention.


Possibly because the race has been mostly monopolized by familiar faces, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However in 2019/2020 season, Ciro Immobile broke the trend of Barcelona and Real Madrid stars winning and brought the trophy back to a less gigantic side.


But another aspect of the Golden Boot race is not mentioned enough - where the goals have come from. Do the goals from the top marksmen of the last 15 years show a trend? Starting with the winner from 15 years ago.


Luca Toni (Fiorentina) - 31 goals in the 2005/2006 season


One of three players on this list of European Golden Shoe winners and their goal maps that is now retired. Luca Toni had a long and nomadic career but individually he peaked in his first season with Viola when he scored 31 goals in Serie A. Of course, the Italian scored nearly all of them in the vicinity of the goalkeeper's area although he did bag two from outside the box. The angles of some of his other goals show the great range the former Bayern Munich striker had. He won with the best tally he had.


Francesco Totti (Roma) - 26 goals in the 2006/2007 season


The last Serie A winner before Ciro Immobile took the crown somewhat unexpectedly last season. Francesco Totti won with the lowest goal tally in the last 15 years. The Prince of Rome reached 20 goals only one other time in his career but his range of goalscoring was always impressive. Not only proven by the mapping of his goals in the Golden Shoe race, but with the arsenal of weapons he had. He scored a high percentage of his goals from outside the box - five.


Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United) - 31 goals in the 2007 /2008 season


First inclusion of the goalscoring machine Cristiano Ronaldo on the list, during his time at Manchester United. Ronaldo made a massive switch in his play and scored nearly twice as many goals as he did in the previous season. His goals in this season were scattered across the pitch showing his versatility. While the five long-range efforts all came from the centre of the pitch.


Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid) - 32 goals in the 2008/2009 season


Starting the domination of La Liga teams in the Golden Boot race, Diego Forlan is the last retired winner. In his second year with Atletico Madrid, Forlan won his second European Golden Shoe. Although he had to share his first from the Villarreal days with Thierry Henry, when they both scored 25. Even though he was considered a propper, in the box nine, Forlan scored seven goals from outside the box! All his other strikers are spread out around the box regarding the angles and the range.


Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 34 goals in the 2009/2010 season


Starting up his reign, the record-holder of the European Golden Shoe trophies, Lionel Messi started with his joint-lowest tally. Scoring 11 goals more than in his previous season, while bagging 47 across all competitions, Messi confirmed his superstardom. His goal map in the 2009/2010 season shows his tendency to cut inside and shoot, from both within and outside the box. He had seven successful shots from outside the box and most of the total on the right-hand side.


Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) - 40 goals in the 2010/2011 season


In his second season with Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo bombarded La Liga goalkeepers from close, medium, and long-range. Six goals were scored from outside the box, while the rest halved between goalkeeper's area adjacent and penalty kick area zones.


Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 50 goals in the 2011/2012 season


The best tally in the history of the European Golden Shoe race history and the goal map is surprisingly uniformed. With only two long-range efforts, one from outside the box, and the rest of them encircling the goalkeepers from all sides and close to mid-range.


Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 46 goals in the 2012/2013 season


In the following year, Messi had a far different goal map as he scored whopping eight goals from outside the box. Compared to his previous years, the goals came more from the left-hand side and the centre, while only six were launched from the goalkeeper's left side.


Luis Suarez (Liverpool) - 31 goals in the 2013/2014 season


Sharing this award with Cristiano Ronaldo’s third triumph, Luis Suarez is the only one representing Premier League in the last 15 years.


In his last campaign with Liverpool, Suarez seemed unstoppable and the goal map testifies as he has a wide range of goals scored. Seven of the goals were scored from outside of the box, a bunch of them from right in front of the goalkeeper's box but with an added range that showed Suarez was dangerous both by cutting in from the left and sneaking in from the right.


Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) - 48 goals in the 2014/2015 season


Boasting the furthest goal by the Golden Shoe winner in the last 15 years, against Cordoba. Cristiano also scored two goals from direct free-kicks for a total of five long-range goals from outside the box. The bulk of his goals came from right in front of the goal although he still did score five of them by cutting inside from the left and going inside the box.


Luis Suarez (Barcelona) - 40 goals in the 2015/2016 season


The only Golden Shoe winner goal map that shows no goals from outside the box! Suarez didn't have a reason to leave the danger zone playing with Leo Messi and Neymar and it showed by getting 40 goals. Most of them from around the penalty kick area, but another 12 from within the goalkeeper's zone.


Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 37 goals in the 2016/2017 season


Scoring nine goals from outside of 18-yard box, one from an incredibly tight angle, Messi once again showed an uncanny ability to transform and to adapt. Getting only four goals from within the goalkeeper's area, most of the goals are scored from straight in front of the goal.


Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 34 goals in the 2017/2018 season


Once again scoring a great deal of goals from outside the box, eight, with six of them being direct free-kicks! Messi was again a different beast, getting only three goals from the goalkeeper's left side as he fully embraced a more central role in attack.


Lionel Messi (Barcelona) - 36 goals in the 2012/2013 season


Getting a staggering nine goals from outside the box, six of them as free kicks again, Leo Messi shifted even further to the left side of the pitch when it comes to goalscoring. Getting four goals from the goalkeeper's left side but bagging the majority of the goals from straight ahead and the penalty area.


Ciro Immobile (Lazio) - 36 goals in the 2019/2020 season


Beating the season’s best player Robert Lewandowski to the trophy, Ciro Immobile brought the goalscoring trophy back to Italy for the first time since the main rival's legend Totti. As a propper number nine, Ciro did score almost exclusively from inside the box although he had a great goal from a tight angle outside of it against SPAL. Mostly shooting from the keeper's right area but using both of his feet almost equally. He also scored 14 goals from the white spot but he also earned most of them.


Take a look at all the goal maps of European Golden Boot winners in the previous 15 years. Goal maps used come from the great site for statistics Understat.com.




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