2019 has been a great year for football, and the top scorers in Europe have fought hard to reach the top. From the experienced, to the youngsters making a name for themselves, big transfer fees have been demanded and paid for to get the very best.
The usual suspects have proved their dominance again after Lionel Messi picked up the Balon D’Or for the best player of the year, and Cristiano Ronaldo held the Scudetto after his first season at Juventus.
Top Scorers in Europe – Magic Messi
One name stands out when looking at top scorers in Europe, for this year and for the last 16 since his debut for Barcelona. Lionel Messi has proven his worth again by scoring 50 goals in a calendar year for an incredible NINTH time in the last 10 years. With his strike against Alavés, the Argentinian broke the barrier yet again.
The forward also scored his 600th league goal and, this article on Barcelona’s website, shows highlights of his year.
Mbappe Rising to the top
Looking at league goals only, it is no surprise that the GOAT is back on top and picking up his 6th Golden Shoe. 34 goals in 32 games, he averages a 1.06 goals a game. Once sharing the top of the charts with Cristiano Ronaldo, there is a new kid on the block in Kylian Mbappe, who can actually marginally better this feat with 1.07 goals per game (31 in 29).
Robert Lewandowski (31), Jamie Vardy (29) and Karim Benzema (27) complete the top 5 for the year. From this, another noticeable stat shows that newly-Ukranian Júnior Moraes scored an impressive 17 goals in 20 for Shakhtar Donetsk.
Old Dogs, New Tricks
The top scorers in Europe in the Spanish, German, English and Italian leagues were all over the age of 29. This is truly an incredible stat and shows the increased ability of sports science, but also the adaptability and will of the top scorers.
Jamie Vardy (aged 32) who, at the start of the decade, was playing non-league football, finishes top of the Premier League charts. He has thrived under new manager Brendan Rodgers. One reason for this may be the fact that he actually sees the ball less. Where he would have been running on the wing as well, and chasing every ball, the Englishman has limited his play style to be more efficient. More of his touches this season have been shots, and his clinical nature means the goals keep flowing.
Another stand out player is Ciro Immobile. At 29 years old he is no means past his best, but as a player that has had varying levels of success in his travels, it is clear that Italy suits him best. Scoring 22 goals in 2019, the Italian has forced his way back into the international squad. We have recently posted an article on Immobile, and Lazio’s success and their challenge for the Serie A title in 2020.
Of the top 25 goalscorers in Europe in 2019, the English league had the biggest proportion with 112 goals. This is followed by France (93), Spain (81) and Germany (72).
Atlético Madrid – The busy boys
The summer did not disappoint in terms of transfers. The headline being João Félix’s record-breaking move to Atlético Madrid for a sum of £113.4 million. To fund this, Antoine Griezmann left the Wanda Metropolitano to join league rivals Barcelona for £108 million. Both players have had varying success, with Griezmann scoring 7 goals and assisting 4, and league new-boy Félix scoring 2 and assisting 1 in what is always generally a relatively low-scoring side.
Premier League movers
Eden Hazard fled grey London to join former teammate and countryman Thibaut Courtois at Real Madrid. Englishman Harry Maguire became the world’s most expensive defender with his move to Manchester United for £78.3 million, and Champions League hero Matthijs de Ligt finally chose Juventus after months of speculation for £76.95 million.
FootballOwl’s Predictions come true!
FootballOwl’s Ones to Watch had some part in the top transfers of the year too. Serbian Luka Jović (who we wrote about back in January) joined a number of others in signing for Real Madrid and, despite a difficult start to life in Spain, looks to get back to his incredible form from his time at Frankfurt (as ‘golden triangle’ teammates Sébastien Haller and Ante Rebić also flew the nest).
Tanguy Ndombele (who we wrote about here) was another star we saw early! His move to Tottenham for £54 million was the 14th highest transfer fee of the year. Settling in well under Pochettino, the youngster has been shown that he will need to fight for his place by new manager Jose Mourinho, a job that we know the Frenchman will relish.
Four leagues share the top 15 transfers, with England (£433.3 million) and Spain (£432.9 million) tight at the top!
|League||Split of top transfers|
A year is a long time and this is no different in football. 12 months ago, Man City were the best team in England the skies looked as blue as their shirts. Flash forward to now and the title is Liverpool’s to lose. Transfer records get broken by teenagers, defenders and Ones to Watch. One constant, though, is the sheer brilliance of Lionel Messi. Year on year the Argentine shows his brilliance and we are lucky to be a part of it.
What was your favourite moment of 2019?