Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo are neck and neck in the race to win the ESM Golden Shoe as Europe’s top league goalscorer for the 2011-12 season. Both have already scored 35 league goals in this campaign, nine more than nearest challenger, Robin Van Persie of Arsenal, who had scored 26 goals by the end of March.
Germany’s two most prolific marksmen this season, Bayern Munich’s Mario Gomez and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar of Schalke are also in the top 10 - on 23 and 22 league goals respectively.
Last season, Ronaldo won the award with 40 goals, while Messi triumphed in 2009-10 after scoring 34 in La Liga.
Messi recently became Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, on 233 goals - at the age of 24- beating the previous record set by Cesar Rodriguez in the 1940s and 1950s.
Messi also became the first player to score five in a single Champions League tie, as Barcelona demolished Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 in the round of 16.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo become the fastest player to score 100 Spanish league goals after his two against Real Sociedad took him to 101 goals in 92 games, surpassing the record set by Ferenc Puskas, who scored 100 in 105 games.
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