An easy tap-in, a scorcher from distance, a bullet header, or a simple penalty. It doesn’t really matter – as long as the ball ends in the back of the net. A goal is a goal, after all. SportingPedia’s newest report is all about goals and money. They looked into the latest European Golden Boot rankings; listing the most prolific players across all of the continent’s leagues for the past season. And they divided reported salaries by the respective goal count. This way, SportingPedia could work out the amount each of the contenders cost their teams per league goal scored. It’s one way to estimate a player’s value for money. And the numbers tell an intriguing story…
* The player was performing in a lower league, so the ammount of goals there is multiplied by 1,5 instead of 2 like the top 5 leagues
For the second consecutive year, the top earner per league goal was Robert Lewandowski. The Polish number nine just completed a move to Barcelona – ending an era at Bayern Munich. The clinical striker bagged 35 Bundesliga goals, beating Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema to the coveted European Golden Boot.
But there are some notable absentees.
It’s the first time in 15 years that Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi don’t feature in the top 10. The pair endured disappointing campaigns. For a mercurial Argentinian who is a record six-time European Golden Boot winner, he managed only six Ligue 1 goals in his debut season with PSG. At Manchester United, meanwhile, Cristiano was far more convincing with 18 goals scored.
The French National Team manager Didier Deschamps will have plenty of options to select for the squad’s attacking positions in November. There are seven French strikers who managed to score 20 or more league goals last season. All of them perform in the top 5 European leagues too. Of all the Golden Boot contenders, Kylian Mbappe’s goals came at the highest price. Each cost £761,429, while those of his Les Bleus partner in crime Karim Benzema cost £529,630.
On the opposite end is Ohi Omoijuanfo – perhaps the least recognisable name on the list. He spent most of his career in his native Norway, before recently moving abroad to Serbia. Besides Lewandowski, only Omoijuanfo managed to score more than 30 last season. The cost of every single one was “just” £18,182 – almost 42 times less than the most expensive ones in the chart.
Lewandowski’s 35 goals is the third-lowest number of goals a European Golden Boot winner has scored in the past 10 years. The record for most goals and points is held by Lionel Messi. He remains the only lad in history to reach triple-digit points. If he was hypothetically on the contenders’ list, his mediocre performance at PSG would put him at £8.3 million per league goal. Not exactly great value for money.
The price of all 422 goals scored by the leading Golden Boot runners is estimated at an average £272,019 pounds for each.
“At first I was not surprised at all when looking at the ranking, but when I started going through the details it hit me that there is no Brazilian or Spaniard on the Golden Boot contenders list. Only one South American is just not normal, after being used to hearing about Messi, Suarez, Cavani, Neymar week-in, week-out across the past decade.
“Аfter thinking about it though it seems logical – there is a change of generations taking place, with all of the aforementioned four already on the wrong side of their 30s. Next year I expect to see at least one of the South American new wave of Darwin Nunez, Julian Alvarez and Vinicius Junior to feature, as they all seem very talented.” SportingPedia football analyst Sean Foster.
£761,429 per goal; 28 Ligue 1 goals
Mbappe was the best of PSG’s MNM trio that also included Neymar Jr, Leo Messi last term. Gifted with incredible pace and speed, Mbappe bagged 28 Ligue 1 goals. He was the subject of a much-discussed free transfer to Real Madrid, which eventually didn’t happen; Mbappe staying in Paris.
£529,630 per goal; 27 La Liga goals
Karim Benzema was the main reason for Real Madrid’s success last season. Los Blancos secured yet another Champions League title after defeating Liverpool in the final. Benzema’s goals also propelled Real to their 35th domestic title, with the Frenchman claiming the “Pichichi” award for La Liga highest goalscorer. King Karim is the oldest player to feature on this list.
£508,696 per goal; 23 Premier League goals
The Egyptian is the engine that drives Liverpool to success. In the first half of last season, he was scoring goal after goal. But things slowed down from mid-February onwards following Egypt’s AFCON final defeat. Mo helped the Reds win the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, but his biggest regret was losing a second Champions League final to Real Madrid.
£488,800 per goal; 35 Bundesliga goals
Even at 33 years of age, the Pole shows no signs of slowing down. In 2022, he helped Bayern Munich to another Bundesliga title. This is his second European Golden Boot in a row too. The player has just completed a transfer to FC Barcelona – and is open to the challenge of La Liga.
£434,087 per goal; 23 Premier League goals
The South Korean had another impressive season with Tottenham Hotspur. But, once again, he failed to win a trophy with the London club. The attacker ended up tying with Mohamed Salah in the Premier League Golden Boot race; both bagging 23 goals. Unlike Salah, however, none of Son’s goals came from the penalty spot.
£312,000 per goal; 22 Bundesliga goals
The towering Norwegian striker missed around three months of football due to injury. But he still managed to finish as the third-best goalscorer in the Bundesliga. Haaland chose to follow in his father’s footsteps too; joining Manchester City in June. He is also the youngest player to make the list.
Wissam Ben Yedder
£266,240 per goal; 25 Ligue 1 goals
This was the best season on a personal level of Ben Yedder’s career. He was the second-highest goalscorer in the French top flight. The only player finishing above him was Kylian Mbappe. With his goals, Monaco returned to the Champions League after finishing third in Ligue 1.
£234,963 per goal; 27 Serie A goals
The 32-year-old Immobile became the the top goalscorer in Italy. This is the third time he has won the prestigious award. The striker single-handedly scored more than 30% of Lazio’s league goals – helping them reach the Europa League places.
£188,890 per goal; 21 Serie A goals
The Argentinian was tasked with taking on the scoring burden at Inter after Romelu Lukaku left for Chelsea last summer. Even though the Nerazzurri finished as runners-up in Serie A and were eliminated by Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League, Lautaro proved he can lead the line and deliver the goods.
£177,677 per goal; 24 Bundesliga goals
After winning the Golden Boot at Euro 2020, the tall striker continued to impress at club level. His goals helped Bayer Leverkusen qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. The Czech international is drawing the attention of many clubs around Europe. But the German side makes it clear that he will stay in Leverkusen for at least one more year.
£156,000 per goal; 20 Bundesliga goals
The striker helped the modest FC Köln secure European football next season. The club finished in seventh in the Bundesliga last campaign. Modeste’s chances of getting a call-up to the French team for Qatar are slim, as the nation’s main striker is another 34-year-old veteran.
£132,600 per goal; 20 Bundesliga goals
Nkunku got his reward for his brilliant season with RB Leipzig from Didier Deschamps – giving the attacker the chance to represent the French national team earlier this year. His club side won the DFB Pokal, where the player scored four more goals. Nkunku recently signed a contract extension with the German team.
£126,286 per goal; 21 Ligue 1 goals
The striker is coming out of his personal best season. Dembele scored at least one goal in each of his last nine appearances in Ligue 1 – including braces against Metz and Bordeaux. Lyon’s failure to qualify for European tournaments may lead to a transfer.
£56,333 per goal; 24 Serie A goals
In the first half of the season, the Serbian scored 17 in 21 for Fiorentina. This resulted in a transfer to Juventus worth just over 70 million euros. With the Bianconerri, the player has had a slow start – but he still managed to net seven goals in 15 league matches.
£47,048 per goal; 21 Ligue 1 goals
The 24-year-old was performing very well for Rennes, a side who finished fourth in Ligue 1. In doing so, the club secured Europa League football last term. His main position is left winger, but Terrier is quite versatile and can fill in at any attacking position.
£33,429 per goal; 28 HNL goals
In his first full season with Hajduk Split, Livaja showed brilliant composure in front of the goal. The striker’s 28 league goals helped Hajduk finish as runners-up in Croatia. He scored another four in the domestic cup competition, which helped the team to trophy-lifting success.
£18,182 per goal; 33 goals (27 Eliteserien/6 Super Liga)
Omoijuanfo spent the 1st half of the season in Norway with Molde, scoring 27 goals in 29 games. In the winter transfer window, a free move to Red Star Belgrade followed. The Norwegian striker only managed nine matches in Serbia – but he did add another six goals to his overall tally for the season.