The European Golden Boot award, also known as the European Golden Shoe award, is awarded to the top goalscorer in a European top-flight season. First conceptualized in 1968, the award was presented by L’Equipe for three decades.
Since 1997, European Sports Media has presented the award after taking into consideration the ‘competitiveness’ of the league in which a player plays. The top six leagues have a coefficient of 2; the next 17 leagues have a coefficient of 1.5, and the remaining leagues have a coefficient of 1.
These coefficients are multiplied by the goals scored by a player to arrive at his final tally in the Golden Boot standings. Thanks to the introduction of the coefficients, a player plying his trade in one of the tougher leagues can win the award by scoring fewer goals than a player in one of the easier leagues. That makes sense, owing to the varying difficulty levels of various leagues across the continent.
Over the years, many fine players have won the European Golden Boot award. Last season, Robert Lewandowski scored 41 goals, the most by any player in a Bundesliga season, to take home his first Golden Boot award.
But there have been others who have won the prestigious award more than once. On that note, let’s take a look at the top five multiple winners of the Golden Boot award:
#5 Gerd Muller – 2 (1969-70, 1971-72)
Nicknamed ‘Der Bomber’ for his prolific goalscoring exploits, Gerd Muller (365) is the all-time top scorer in Bundesliga history; nobody else has scored more than 277.
Muller bagged his first Golden Shoe award after netting 38 goals in 33 games. Two years later, he won his second Golden Shoe award by bettering his goal tally by two goals. That was a record that stood for almost five decades before Robert Lewandowski (41) surpassed Muller’s tally in 2020-21
Only two players have scored 40 goals in a Bundesliga season:
☉ Gerd Muller (1971-72)
☉ Robert Lewandowski (2020-21)
And he’s done it in six fewer games too. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/KggAbMdnIE— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 15, 2021
Since Muller’s 40-goal season, only two players have recorded 30-goal Bundesliga campaigns. Lewandowski has done it thrice (30 in both 2015-16 and 2016-17, 34 in 2019-20) before overtaking Muller in 2020-21. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (31 in 2016-17) is the other player to have done so.
#4 Thierry Henry – 2 (2003-04, 2004-05)
Thierry Henry is one of the best strikers to have graced the Premier League. With 175 goals, the Frenchman is the sixth-most prolific scorer in the history of the competition.
After his arrival at Premier League club Arsenal in the summer of 1999, Henry hit the ground running, scoring at least 17 league goals in each of his first seven seasons at the club.
Henry scored 30 goals in Arsenal’s 2003-04 ‘Invincibles’ season, where the Gunners went without a league defeat all campaign, to win his first Golden Boot award. The very next year, the Frenchman scored 24 goals to bag his second Golden Boot award, this time sharing it with Diego Forlan of Villarreal.
In addition to his goalscoring prowess, Henry also created goals aplenty for teammates. A season before winning his first Golden Boot award, the Frenchman registered 24 goals and 20 assists, the highest goal contribution by a player in a single Premier League season
After his Arsenal stint, Henry played for Barcelona and went to the MLS before retiring from the game in 2014.