The goals-per-minute record of the 11 leading Golden Shoe contenders

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Mohamed Salah boosted his chances of winning Europe’s Golden Shoe award with four goals for Liverpool before the international break – but he faces some predictable competition.

Three players netted four goals in a single game before club football was put on hold as the battle to be crowned the continent’s best goalscorer begins to hot up with just two months of the season left to play.

The award is handed out at the end of every season, dependent on league difficulty. Players in the top five leagues have their goals multiplied by two, while those playing in leagues ranked 6 to 21 on the coefficient have theirs multiplied by 1.5.

No one other than Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo or Luis Suarez has won the award since 2010, but none of that trio are leading the way so far this season.

10= Luis Suarez (42 points)

Suarez shared the award with Ronaldo in 2014 after firing in 31 Premier League goals for Liverpool – the only time between 2011 and 2016 that less than 40 goals was enough.

The Uruguayan has netted 21 so far this term, at a rate of a goal every 106.76 minutes – the worst of the current top 11.

10= Sergio Aguero (42 points)

Also on 21 goals is Manchester City’s Aguero, but the 29-year-old has managed it from just 22 starts, as he is on course for his best goalscoring season in English football.

He has averaged a goal every 93.10 minutes, which is better than one of the players currently sat in joint third position.

8= Mauro Icardi (44 points)

Icardi’s Inter still have 10 games to play, and the striker’s 22 goals in 24 appearances, at a rate of a goal every 95.32 minutes, suggests he may be among the real contenders come the end of the season.

The first of three players to go into the international break off the back of a four-goal haul, Icardi did so in just 21 minutes as Inter beat Sampdoria 5-0.

WATCH: Mauro Icardi scores four in 21 minutes including slick backheel

8= Cristiano Ronaldo (44 points)

After a tough start to the season, Ronaldo’s four goals in a 6-3 win over Girona have seen him storm into the top 10.

His scoring rate of one every 92.32 minutes is better than his old adversary Messi, and with 19 goals in his last 10 appearances in all competitions, who knows where Ronaldo could end up on this list.

With 18 of his 22 league goals coming in his last nine games, Ronaldo is the top scorer across the top leagues in 2018.

7. Robert Lewandowski (46 points)

Of players playing in the top five leagues, Lewandowski has the best minutes-per-goal ratio, netting every 81.26 minutes.

His 23 goals in the Bundesliga have come from 21 starts, but with just seven games left in the German top flight it looks unlikely that the Pole will challenge for the top scorer’s award.

6. Jonas (46.5 points)

The top scorer in Europe, rather unexpectedly, is Benfica’s 33-year-old Brazilian forward Jonas.

He has netted 31 goals at a rate of one every 73.94 minutes, standing way ahead of anyone else in the running.

However, the Primeira Liga has a difficulty factor of 1.5, so he sits just sixth in the running for the award.

3= Edinson Cavani (48 points)

One of three players on 24 goals for the season, Cavani has formed a deadly partnership with Neymar, with PSG set to win the Ligue 1 title around the same time Manchester City win the Premier League.

He has netted at a rate of a goal every 91.92 minutes, having missed four games throughout the campaign.

3= Ciro Immobile (48 points)

Immobile has a marginally better scoring rate than Cavani, with a goal every 92.71 minutes, netting 24 for fifth-placed Serie A side Lazio.

3= Harry Kane (48 points)

Every England fan’s heart skipped a beat when Kane went down in Spurs’ 4-1 win over Bournemouth, and while it shouldn’t keep him out of the World Cup, his damaged ankle ligaments have almost definitely ended his charge towards the Golden Shoe.

Kane actually has the second-worst goals per minute ratio of the top 11, netting every 101.75 minutes, and it isn’t until mid-April that he is expected to return.

READ: How Harry Kane scored his 100 Premier League goals for Tottenham

2. Lionel Messi (50 points)

Looking back over the years, Messi alternates each year, scoring over and under a goal per game.

This season is under: he has netted 25 in 28 La Liga appearances so far this term, having bagged 37 in 34 last term as he won the Golden Shoe.

His minutes per goal ratio is in fact only lower than that of Kane and team-mate Suarez, averaging a goal every 98.44 minutes.

1. Mo Salah (56 points)

Salah’s four goals against Watford saw him race away from Kane in the Premier League, as the pair were neck-and-neck before the Spurs’ striker’s injury.

He has 28 goals from 28 starts, scoring at a rate of a goal every 85.46 minutes as he continues to turn heads with his performances.

WATCH: The story of Mo Salah so far – ‘It’s hard to express how good he is’

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