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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Mohamed Salah leads Lionel Messi in race for European Golden Shoe

While Kevin De Bruyne may be the finished article, ESPN FC's Craig Burley feels Mohamed Salah is the Premier League's player of the year at this moment in time.
While Kevin De Bruyne may be the finished article, ESPN FC's Craig Burley feels Mohamed Salah is the Premier League's player of the year at this moment in time.

Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah is on course to become only the second Premier League player in the last 11 seasons to win the Golden Shoe, awarded to the most prolific scorer in the Europe.

Salah scored four goals against Watford on Saturday evening to take his league tally for the season to 28, three more than nearest challenger Lionel Messi of Barcelona.

Edinson Cavani of Paris Saint-Germain, Ciro Immobile of Lazio and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane are all a further goal behind.

If Salah does win the Golden Shoe, he will emulate former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who shared the accolade with Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013-14 when both scored 31 goals.

The Golden Shoe table is ranked on points rather than goals, with goals scored in Europe's top five leagues worth two points. Jonas of Benfica has scored 31 league goals this season but strikes in the Portuguese league are only worth 1.5 points, which places him sixth in the standings.

Messi is the current holder of the Golden Shoe, with the Argentine winning it four times. Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo has won it four times too -- the first coming with Manchester United in 2007-08. Since 2008, La Liga has provided 11 of the 12 winners, with Atletico Madrid striker Diego Forlan the other player to top of chart in 2008-09.

Ronaldo and Mauro Icardi moved into the top 10 on Sunday after both scored four goals for Inter Milan and Real Madrid respectively -- and that pushed Paris Saint-Germain's 20-goal scorer Neymar, who is set to miss the rest of the season with a broken metatarsal, outside the chart.

The top 10 after Sunday's games are:

1. Mohamed Salah, Liverpool, 56 points (28 goals)
2. Lionel Messi, Barcelona, 50 (25)
3. Edinson Cavani, Paris Saint-Germain, 48 (24)
3. Ciro Immobile, Lazio, 48 (24)
3. Harry Kane, Tottenham Hotspur, 48 (24)
6. Jonas, Benfica, 46.5 (31)
7. Robert Lewandowski, Bayern Munich, 46 (23)
8. Mauro Icardi, Inter Milan, 44 (22)
8. Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid, 44 (22)
10. Sergio Aguero, Manchester City, 42 (21)
10. Luis Suarez, Barcelona, 42 (21)

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