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Golden Shoe 2023: Who Is the Favorite?

The outcome of the European football league is a different ball game every year, and you can never really predict how certain players will perform. Some players may have an exceptionally great start but then drop off towards the end of the season, leaving them with a weak finish. Others, who you might not have expected to see on the leaderboard at all because of how they started, might surprise everyone by picking up the pace towards the end, leaving them with an exceptional finish.

Perhaps it’s the anticipation of seeing how players are doing that makes the Golden Shoe Award that much more exciting. It is a prestigious award given to whoever is the top goal scorer in the European leagues. As with any other sport, scoring a goal is one of the most memorable moments of any game. You might not remember anything else about a certain match, but you’ll always remember who scored the winning goal of your favorite team, making the soccer odds all the more high-stakes and exciting to track.

With some recurring names mixed in with a few fresh ones, the next edition of the Golden Shoe Award is set to be awarded this year, and fans are speculating on who it might be.

To find out more about who we think are some of the top contenders for the award and who people may be rooting for to win, keep reading below!

What is the Golden Shoe?

Before getting into who we think are some of the strongest contenders, it’s worth looking at what exactly the Golden Shoe Award is. As we mentioned earlier, the name itself sounds very prestigious, and its value is as well.

The Golden Shoe Award is a tradition that started back in 1967 when the French newspaper, L’Equipe, decided that they would award the top scorer of the season. Before anyone knew it, it became an annual tradition that many fans look forward to.

The significant thing about what qualifies a player for the Golden Shoe is that it isn’t cup competition goals that are counted. Rather, it is only league goals, so even if a player is from a lower division in a cup game, there’s no advantage to be taken off there.

Who are fans rooting for?

With so many incredible players absolutely dominating the field, fans might have a hard time deciding which one individual they want to root for to win the Golden Shoe. The facts and stats behind each player are so unique that each one brings forth their own skillset that helps them on the pitch.

1.  Kylian Mbappé

Of course, one of the first names that comes to mind when it comes to the Golden Shoe must be Kylian Mbappé. An individual who has taken the world by storm at the young age of 22, he is known across Europe, if not the world, as being one of the top goal scorers.

It’s worth noting that Mbappé previously won the award in the 2019–2020 season after he scored an impressive 30 goals, so we wouldn’t be surprised if we see his name again this year! One of the biggest skill sets that help him is his speed and agility on the field – he is impossible to catch. Perhaps he’ll leave the others behind once again when collecting his award?

2.  Erling Haaland

Another player that has caught our attention is young Erline Haaland. Even younger than Mbappé and from Norway, he is also a top contender for the award, and his performance in 2021–2022 speaks for itself.

In 28 games, the 21-year-old has scored a whopping 27 goals in a total of 28 games in last year’s season, making him one of the best strikers out there. The fact that he’s been compared to individuals like Ronaldo and Ibrahimović should tell you everything about Haaland, and he really is the one to look out for as a dominating force.

3.  Lionel Messi

There’s no way we could compile this list without the iconic Lionel Messi, considered one of the greatest football players of all time. The fact that before this year, he has won the Golden Shoe award six times in his career just demonstrates how much of a beast he is on the field. At his prime age of 35, he still has incredible ability and skill to make sure he hits his target in the back of the net. And it’s exactly why teams and fans alike want to see him back on the pitch even after his hiatus.

One of his unique skills that sets him apart from everyone else is his remarkable dribbling. His on-the-spot decisions have worked out to be more than handy for him on several occasions, so we definitely wouldn’t be surprised if Messi found his six-time Award turning into the seventh.