The European run for the 2021/22 Golden Boot has ended after a season that saw the continent’s most prolific goalscorers vying to win one of football’s most prestigious individual awards.
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski overcame a challenge from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to finish top of the European Golden Boot standings last season.
READ MORE: European Golden Boot 2022/23: Current standings and previous winners
Lewandowski scored a staggering 41 league goals in 29 appearances, giving him 82 Golden Boot points and the highest winning score since Ronaldo in 2014/15.
Manchester United star Ronaldo and Messi, who had moved from Barcelona to PSG, entered the new campaign hoping to challenge again in the rankings for the most goals scored in Europe after their huge summer transfers.
READ MORE: Who will be the European King of Assists for 2021/22?
Messi’s PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe and a young star like Erling Haaland were also expected to be in the mix to top the Golden Boot standings and take the crown from Lewandowski.
Along with Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku, Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah started the season as the Premier League’s top contenders, although surprise winners have emerged in the past as well.
This page was updated throughout the 2021/22 season with regular updates on the European Golden Boot standings, and the final result can now be seen below.
CLASSIFICATION OF THE EUROPEAN GOLDEN SHOE 2021/22
Robert Lewandowski has won back-to-back European Golden Boot titles after another spectacular season.
The Bayern striker scored in the last game of his team’s Bundesliga campaign against Wolfsburg on May 14, and his future at the club appears uncertain amid transfer speculation.
Thus, Lewandowski ended the league season with 35 goals in 34 appearances, a total that saw him score the most goals in Europe for 2021/22.
With the Bundesliga season being shorter than Europe’s other top divisions, Lewandowski finished before many of his rivals had completed their top-flight campaigns, but a massive lead meant his victory never seemed in doubt.
Lewandowski clinched European golden boot glory once again despite falling just slightly short of his record tally of 41 goals last season.
He led the Golden Boot race for most of the season, but while he held steady at the top, the pack chasing him rotated regularly, right up to our final standings.
PSG sensation Kylian Mbappe, the top scorer in Ligue 1, finally took second place with 28 goals and 56 Golden Boot points.
It was a remarkable year for the World Cup winner, who also had 18 assists in the top flight to tie Thomas Muller for the best creative total in Europe’s top five leagues.
A hat-trick as PSG thrashed Metz 5-0 on the final day of the Ligue 1 season saw Mbappe edge past Karim Benzema and Ciro Immobile to finish best of the rest behind Lewandowski.
It was the second best goal total of his career, trailing only the 33 he netted in 2018/19, and the attacker looks like a likely Golden Boot winner in the future.
Benzema (27 goals) posted the best goalscoring campaign in the league he has had in 13 seasons with Real Madrid, impressively surpassing the 24 goals he scored in 2015/16.
The France striker posted the highest total in the First Division and was one of Lewandowski’s most prominent rivals in this table for much of what was a sublime campaign.
Benzema could have come second to Mbappe had Carlo Ancelotti not carefully managed his schedule in the closing weeks of the season after he clinched the domestic title, with a Champions League final against Liverpool in mind.
Former Lazio striker Immobile has scored a superb 27 times in the league this season to top the Serie A charts.
He has surpassed 20 Serie A goals in five of his six seasons with Lazio and remains a prolific striker who consistently appears in the Golden Boot race.
Monaco’s Wissam Ben Yedder challenged Mbappe in Ligue 1 for much of the season and finished with 25 goals to claim an impressive fifth Golden Boot finish, boosted by a hat-trick against Brest in the penultimate game of the season .
Ohi Omoijuanfo, who played for Molde and Red Star Belgrade throughout the campaign, came sixth and was the highest ranked outside of the five European leagues.
Leverkusen striker Patrik Schick and Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic finished level on 24 goals. Both players started fast this season, making them a permanent fixture on the leaderboard.
Rounding out the top 10 were the two payers who ultimately finished level in the Premier League golden boot race with 23 goals. They were Liverpool striker Mohamed Salah, who was the leader for most of the campaign in England, and his Tottenham rival Son Heung-min.
Strikes on the final day of the EPL season for that duo meant outgoing Dortmund star Erling Haaland, who will join them in England with Man City next season, finished 11th after racking up 22 goals despite an injury-affected season.
So, Lewandowski once again finished at the top of the prestigious Golden Boot rankings and the big league seasons across Europe have now come to an end.
Lewandowski becomes the 10th player to win the Golden Boot twice, a total surpassed only by Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who were unable to compete this season.
After not producing a winner since 1972, the Bundesliga have now come out on top for two consecutive campaigns, and the stage is set for another intriguing battle in 2022/23.
European Golden Boot 2021/22
Who are the previous European Golden Boot winners?
Lionel Messi has won the most European Golden Boot titles.
The PSG striker has triumphed six times, the last in 2018/19 with Barcelona.
Cristiano Ronaldo is his closest rival with four career wins, although the Man Utd attacker hasn’t reached the top since 2014/15 when he was at Real Madrid.
Nine players have two awards each, including Luis Suárez and Thierry Henry.
Messi also holds the record for most goals and points in a season. He notably scored 50 goals in 2011/12, earning himself 100 points.
Ronaldo has come the closest to breaking that, scoring 48 goals for 96 points when he last won the crown more than six years ago.
Argentine striker Messi is the only player in European Golden Boot history to win the title three years in a row, from 2016/17 to 2018/19.
However, Ronaldo is one of four players to have won the title with different clubs. The others are Luis Suárez, Diego Forlán and Mario Jardel.
Robert Lewandowski became the first Bundesliga winner since 1972 last season, with his 41 goals being the best tally in six seasons.
That came after Ciro Immobile won the 2019/20 European Golden Boot, scoring 36 goals for Lazio in a tremendous Serie A season.
It was his first title, as the striker became the first Serie A player with the most goals in Europe since Francesco Totti’s triumph with Lazio’s rivals Roma in 2006/07.
Ligue 1 hasn’t produced a winner since Josip Skoblar in 1971, a statistic as Messi and Mbappe hope to change soon.
What are the rules and weightings of the European Golden Boot?
Only league goals are eligible for the European Golden Boot, with each goal earning points in a weighted system based on league quality.
The five elite leagues (Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1) have a weighting of 2, which means that a player will receive two points for every goal scored in these competitions.
For leagues ranked sixth in 21st place in the UEFA coefficient ranking, which includes the top leagues in Portugal, the Netherlands and Russia, goals scored have a weighting of 1.5, and goals scored in a league outside the top 21 have a weight of 1. .
It was not always like this in the European Golden Boot. From 1968 until 1991, the award went simply to the continent’s top scorer, regardless of league strength.
The awards were not initially awarded between 1991 and 1996, when the new system came into effect. Since then, only two players playing outside of the five highest-ranked leagues at the time have won the Golden Boot: Henrik Larsson (2000/01) and Mario Jardel (2001/02).
The Golden Boot has been tied in the past, most recently when Suárez and Ronaldo shared the honor in 2013/14. However, going forward, the prize will be awarded to the player who has played the fewest minutes if two of them end up with the same number of points.
This page covers the 2021/22 European Golden Boot race.
Last season’s standings can be found here and if you want to see the final results of the 2019/20 European Golden Boot, follow this link.