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Golden Boot moments including Ferguson dropping Van Nistelrooy and Fowler’s ban

Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah will battle it out for the Premier League’s Golden Boot on the final day of fixtures.

Tottenham star Kane and Liverpool ace Salah are locked together on 22 goals each as they both aim to win the prize for a third time.

And they will be aiming to outshoot each other as Spurs visit Leicester and Liverpool host Crystal Palace in their final games of the season.

Kane also has the most Premier League assists this season with 13 – and could become the first player to top both charts outright since Andy Cole 27 years ago.

As the race to be top marksman goes into the home straight, Mirror Sport looks at some classic Golden Boot moments.

Ruud van Nistelrooy and Sir Alex Ferguson

Fergie’s Ruud gesture

Ruud van Nistelrooy missed out on the Golden Boot during his first season at Manchester United, with Arsenal star Thierry Henry beating him by a single goal.

And van Nistelrooy has revealed how legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson ended his hopes of claiming the prize after the Gunners ended United’s three-year reign as champions.

Arsenal had already won the league by the time the final round of fixtures came during the 2001/2 season – and Fergie ruthlessly left Van Nistelrooy on the bench.

“He said: ‘You’re not challenging for the golden boot, we didn’t win the league, son. You’re out’,” Van Nistelrooy recalled on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with Five show.

“He left me in the stands, man. Not even on the bench. Not even a hope for coming on.

“So that message was: ‘Your goals, fine, they helped us to a certain point but you need to connect it with titles’.”

Ferguson’s decision had the desired effect, with United winning the title back the following season and Van Nistelrooy claiming the golden boot.

Fowler didn’t get a sniff

Robbie Fowler's controversial goal celebration landed him in trouble in 1999
Robbie Fowler’s controversial goal celebration landed him in trouble in 1999

Robbie Fowler never won the Golden Boot – but he arguably blew a great chance of landing the prize during the 1998/99 season.

Fowler was banned for four games at the end of that campaign for his infamous celebration against Everton when the Liverpool striker appeared to pretend to snort the white chalk of the byline.

He was also suspended for another two games for his fracas with Chelsea defender Graeme Le Saux – meaning Fowler missed the last six games of the season.

The player known as ‘God’ by Liverpool fans ended that campaign on 14 goals – only half of his best-ever tally.

But that season the Golden Boot was shared by his team-mate Michael Owen, United striker Dwight Yorke and Leeds star Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who each scored 18 goals – the joint lowest total ever to win the prize.

Assist king Cole

Andy Cole is the only player to have been top scorer and assist maker in a single Premier League season
Andy Cole is the only player to have been top scorer and assist maker in a single Premier League season

Andy Cole won the Golden Boot during the 1993/4 season after scoring 34 goals for Newcastle.

Cole also topped the assist charts that season with 13 in what was then a 42-game season.

He remains the only player to have bagged both the most goals and assists outright in a Premier League season – although Hasselbaink was the top provider when he shared the Golden Boot with Owen and Yorke in 1999.

Cole was the second winner of the Premier League’s Golden Boot award, after Tottenham striker won it in the rebranded top flight’s inaugural season.

Sheringham and Cole would later form a deadly strike partnership at Manchester United – although the two famously didn’t get on.

Three-way tie

Salah and Mane shared the Golden Boot with Aubameyang

Mohamed Salah won the 2017/18 Golden Boot after scoring 32 goals – a record for a 38-game Premier League campaign.

The following season he headed into final game of the season on 22 strikes, two clear of his closest rivals and on course to reclaim the prize.

But Sadio Mane scored both goals in Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Wolves, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a brace in Arsenal’s 3-1 victory at Burnley – meaning both players shared the prize with Salah on a dramatic final day.

Sergio Aguero also scored in Manchester City’s final game to finish one goal behind the three winners.

It remains only the second time that three players have shared the Premier League’s Golden Boot award.

Van Persie’s switch

Robin van Persie's goals helped win Manchester United the title after he switched from Arsenal
Robin van Persie’s goals helped win Manchester United the title after he switched from Arsenal

Arsenal fans weren’t happy when Robin van Persie joined rivals Manchester United during the summer of 2012.

And Gunners’ fears proved well founded as Van Persie scored the goals that fired United to the title in Ferguson’s final season in charge.

The Dutch striker had netted 30 times in the top flight to win the Golden Boot in his final season at the Emirates.

And he repeated the trick at United, firing 26 goals to land the prize for a second successive season.

Van Persie’s tally included goals in both games against his former club, as well as a hat-trick against Aston Villa which secured what remains United’s most recent title triumph.

Golden Boot records

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry won the Golden Boot a record four times
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry won the Golden Boot a record four times

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry remains the only player to have won the Premier League’s Golden Boot four times – including three in a row between 2003 and 2006.

The only other player to have claimed the prize three seasons in succession was Alan Shearer, who reigned as the top marksman between 1994 and 1997.

Henry also won the European Golden Shoe for being the top league scorer across the continent during the 2003/04 and 2004/05 campaigns.

The other players to have won both prizes are Kevin Phillips (Sunderland, 1999/2000), Cristiano Ronaldo (United, 2007/08) and Luis Suarez (Liverpool, 2013/14).

Michael Owen is the only player to have landed the Golden Boot as a teenager, winning it during the 1997/98 and 1998/99 seasons aged 18 and 19 respectively.




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