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European Golden Shoe update: Ronaldo edges in front of Messi

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristia

Real Madrid’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo falls during the Spanish league football match Osasuna vs Real Madrid at the Reyno de Navarra stadium in Pamplona, on March 31, 2012. AFP PHOTO / RAFA RIVAS (Photo credit should read RAFA RIVAS/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Last week, I complicated it. Over-complicated? Depends on how you look at this Golden Shoe, league modifier business. Regardless, I’m keeping it simple this week.

With the help of the folks at World Soccer, here’s where things stand after this weekend’s action. With two goals at Osasuna, Cristiano Ronaldo has taken a two-point, one-goal lead on Lionel Messi. After that, there’s a gap you’d need one of those Indiana Jones rope bridges to cross, and everybody knows those always snap (it even snapped on South Park).

Remember the rules? Goals are multiplied by two for players in Europe’s “top five” leagues (England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France).1 Players from the next 15 leagues get their goals multiplied by 1.5.

The other half of UEFA? Tough luck, minnows! Your goals only count one!

RankPlayerTeamLeagueGoalsPoints
1Cristiano RonaldoReal MadridSpain3774
2Lionel MessiBarcelonaSpain3672
3Robin van PersieArsenalEngland2652
4Burak YilmazTrabzonsporTurkey3248
5Aleksandrs CekulajevsTrans NarvaEstonia4646
5Mario GomezBayern MunichGermany2346
5Klaas-Jan HuntelaarSchalkeGermany2346
8Zlatan IbrahimovicMilanItaly2244
9Seydou DoumbiaCSKARussia2740.5
10Radamel FalcaoAtlético MadridSpain2040
10Gonzalo HiguainReal MadridSpain2040
10Wayne RooneyManchester UnitedEngland2040

Who is Aleksandrs Cekulajevs? A Latvian striker, Cekulajevs struggled at his one venture into mid-level Europe, eventually leaving the Czech Republic’s Nachod-Destne for Iceland after spending the first part of his career in Riga. Last year, he moved to Estonia where he has posted these acceptable results.

1 - Portugal is set to pass France for fifth in next year’s coefficient. Will their players get 2x? Will France’s players be knocked down to 1.5x? It’s really one of the biggest controversies in world soccer history. Stay tuned.