The Golden Boot in football is one of the most prestigious football awards given to players for high performance, individual merits, and achievements on the football field. Unlike the other prestigious award "Golden Ball", which is awarded to the best players at the end of the season, the main criterion for the "Golden Boot" award is a record performance.
In other words, the candidates for the Golden Boot are the players who scored the most goals during one season. The number of goals scored in official matches of the national championship held under the auspices of the European Football Association (UEFA) is taken into account.
The idea to celebrate the record achievements of attacking players appeared in 1968. The initiators of the new award, which would be presented to the best scorer who plays in one of the national European championships, were the editorial office of the popular French newspaper "L'Équipe" and the world-famous brand "Adidas". The evaluation criterion is 1 goal, one point in the rating. You can place your bet on who will win the golden boot this season with the first 5 pound casino.
The first winner of the new award was Portuguese striker Eusebio, who received the "Golden Boot" in 1968. The Portuguese with his 42 goals scored in one season, playing for Benfica, became the best in the ranking of strikers of the Old World.
The original regulations for determining the most productive striker remained until 1991. To identify the winner, only the number of goals scored by a player during one season was taken into account. The level of the national championship and its duration were not taken into account. Such frankly weak criteria for determining the winners caused controversy.
Despite this, over 23 years, 23 players from 12 countries and a representative of one football federation (Wales) became the winners of the prestigious football award. In addition, in 1974, Argentine Hector Yasalde became the winner of the award with the result of 46 goals per season in the Lisbon "Sporting".
Twice during this time, the Golden Boot was awarded to two outstanding footballers: Portuguese Eusebio (1968 and 1973) and German Gerd Muller (1970 and 1972). In 1990, two players received the title of the best scorer in Europe and the Golden Boot award:
Both winners scored 38 goals last season.
In 1991, a controversial situation arose with the determination of the next winner of the Golden Ball award. The Federation of the Republic of Cyprus put forward claims to the organizers of the award with a biased attitude to the procedure for determining the best scorer. As a result, the editors of the French edition decided to stop the official presentation of the award.
Only in 2006, for scoring 34 goals in the 1990 season, the striker of the Yugoslav club "Crvena Zvezda" Darko Pančev received a valuable trophy.
Despite the forced break in the official existence of the "Golden Ball" award, the prize for the best scorer in Europe continued to exist unofficially. From 1992 to 1996, the company "Adidas" presented the analog of the "Golden Boot" to 5 more players, representatives of the Federation of Scotland, Wales, Armenia, and Georgia.
Only in 1997, the award to the best scorer in Europe again reached the official level. Instead of the French newspaper "L'Équipe", "European Sports Magazines", a European information association of sports publications, joined the Adidas brand.
The new organizers also introduced rules in the procedure for determining the winner of the award. Since then, each European club championship has received a certain coefficient:
Since 1997 to date, 14 players have won the Golden Ball award. The largest number of awards was collected by the Argentine striker Lionel Messi, who plays for Barcelona. Five times (2010, 2012, 2013, 2017, 2018), the Argentine became the top scorer in Europe. He also owns the highest score in the scoring competition - 100 points. In the 2012 season, the Argentine received an award for 50 goals scored.
The Argentine striker is one award behind Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo, who received the "Golden Boot" in 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2015.
In 2005, two players received the prestigious award at once: Diego Forlan and Thierry Henry, who scored 25 goals for their clubs "Atletico" and "Arsenal" respectively. In 2014, the competition to Cristiano Ronaldo, who played for Real Madrid, was made by Uruguayan Luis Suarez, who played for the English club Liverpool. They scored 31 goals during one season.
In total, 33 players representing 11 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, and Uruguay, have won the Ballon d'Or award to date.