2009-2010’s Top Scorers in Europe’s Top Leagues

With the La Liga (Barcelona) and Serie A (Inter Milan) finishing their 2009-2010 campaigns yesterday, we take our final look at the best scorers from Europe’s top leagues – The English Premiership, Spanish La Liga, German Bundesliga, Italian Serie A and French Ligue 1 (no one in the top 11, Ninag’s 18 is best).

Tied with 22 Goals РDiego Milito (Inter Milan), Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg) and Frank Lampard (Chelsea)

Diego Milito

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The funny thing about Milito, who came for a fee of 25 million pounds (including Thigao Motta) from Genoa last summer – he was the low profile purchase for Inter, who also added Samuel Eto’o from Barcelona to their strike force. Milito, eventually, is the one who’ll be most remembered in Inter fans minds and hearts for bringing the domestic double, and who knows what he has instored for the Champions League Final. Milito scored the winner again Roma in the Coppa Italia final and scored the championship goal yesterday at Siena, making it the fourth time in seven seasons since arriving in Europe he has topped 20 league goals in a season. Eto’o? He finished the season with 12 league goals, his lowest production since 2006-2007, and he missed half of that season.

Edin Dzeko

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Dzeko was one of the hottest names on the transfer talk last summer and probably will be again in the coming months. Milan couldn’t get their hands on him last time, it’s interesting to see who’ll be in the chase for the talented Bosnian’s services. Dzeko lead the ¬†Bundesliga in scoring, beating out Stefan Kiessling of Leverkusen who led most of the season, but his club suffered from a disastrous season after the historic title run of 2008-2009. Maybe it was the coaching change, maybe it was the champions league, but Dzeko was pretty much the only player who was his old self from a year ago as Wolfsburg finished 8th in the Bundesliga.

Frank Lampard

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The greatest scoring midfielder in Premiership history, Frank Lampard, had what was probably his best season ever at the age of 31, scoring 22 goals and adding 17 assists as he led Chelsea to a domestic double while breaking the Premirship’s scoring records, as Chelsea scored 103 goals during the season. As the World Cup draws nearer, it is evident that alogn with Wayne Rooney, Lampard’s ability to reproduce his club form for Capello is vital for England to pose any threat on the trophy.

Carlos Tevez (Manchester City) – 23 Goals

Carlos Tevez

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The biggest surprise and success story for me this season – I never really thought of Tevez as a world class forward till this season. His 14 goals in 2007-2008 seemed like a fluke to me, and relied more on his international numbers with Argentina (8 goals in 51 caps) to strengthen my claim. However, in 2009-2010, Tevez had an extraordinary season, netting in a team-high 23 goals, his best production since arriving on European soil, as Manchester City failed to reach the Champions League, finishing 5th.

Darren Bent (Sunderland) – 24 Goals

Darren Bent

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Sunderland finished 13th in the Premiership this season, nothing special about it, but Darren Bent, who scored half (!!) of the Black Cats’ league goals this year was special and more. The 26 year old had his best season of his career, reaching 74 career goals in the Premiership and certainly making a case for himself to be included in Capello’s final 23-man squad to South Africa. Currently, he’s in the final 30. Despite not having too much international experience, I think Bent deserves a shot considering England’s lack of skill upfront besides Wayne Rooney.

Tied at 26 – Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) and Wayne Rooney (Manchester United)

Cristiano Ronaldo

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Can a season where you achieve 96 points be considered a failure? I guess so, if you’re Real Madrid. Building a new Galacticos project, the crown jewel was the Portuguese Ronaldo, becoming the most expensive player in history, signed from Manchester United. Ronaldo played 29 league games, scoring 26 goals. Hard to call that a disappointment. Injuries and suspensions hurt his and Real’s quest from domestic and European glory, but still, Ronaldo had an amazing season, as expected. Next season it’s on him to win multiple trophies (always the goal at Real) and bring back the “best player in the world” crown, even if a subjective one, to his head.

Wayne Rooney

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If it wasn’t for a late season injury that probably ended Manchester United’s consecutive title runs and his reign at the top of the scoring charts in England, Rooney would be in line for player of the year in Europe. Well, there’s still a World Cup to play, and when someone shines on the brightest stage, he usually gets the biggest awards. An entire nation puts it’s faith on the broad-shouldered striker who had a fantastic season, sharing the scoring burden alone for the first time, proving he’s more than capable of delivering class performances week in and week out for United. The problem is, both in the national team and club level, he needs some help to get the job done and bring home a title.

Gonzalo Higuain (Real Madrid) – 27 Goals

Gonzalo Higuain

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Not the most popular figure among Real fans, but despite all the shiny acquisitions of last summer, including Ronaldo, Kaka and Benzema, Higuain topped all scorers for Real with a personal best 27 goal season, making it 49 in the last two season for Real Madrid. He still doesn’t show up for the big games, but he has a World Cup to prove his worth now, and despite the boos and jeers he received a few times this season, Higuain might be Real’s biggest asset alongside Ronaldo and Casillas. Don’t forget, he’s only 22.

Tied at 29 – Didier Drogba (Chelsea) and Antonio Di Natale (Udinese)

Didier Drogba

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A last day hat trick sealed Drogba’s personal victory as he beat Wayne Rooney to the Premier League’s golden boot award, finishing with 29 goals in 32 matches, the best production of his career, and his second golden boot win (previously in 2006-2007, scoring 20 goals). Not the most popular striker among rival fans and players due to his very aggressive (sometimes dirty) style and tendency to dive and bicker with the refs, but Drogba had a fantastic midfield to support him this season, and showed how damaging he can be, both as a finished and a play-maker. Next up – surviving Ivory Coast’s group with Portugal and Brazil, somehow making it to the next round.

Antonio Di Natale

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Udinese had a horrible 2009-2010, finishing 15th, but Antonio Di Natale had an incredible year, scoring 29 goals, the best output for an Udinese player ever, breaking Bierhoff’s 28 goals season from the mid 90’s. He has yet to really impress for the national team (31 caps, 9 goals), but will probably be part of Lippi’s final 23 man squad for South Africa, where maybe he’ll have a chance to redeem himself after missing a penalty in the shoot out with Spain back in the 2008 Euro.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 34 Goals

Lionel Messi

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The Barcelona machine wasn’t perfect on all fronts like in 2008-2009, ending up with “only” the league title, but there’s was little doubt this year who is the best in the world. Messi raised his games to another stratosphere of excellence this year, scoring 34 league goals and 47 in all competitions, making his claim, a month before his 23rd birthday, for a place among the greatest ever. Although it’s silly talking about “best ever” stuff when he’s hardly out of his teens, but at times, bliss and perfection are underestimating the things Messi does on the pitch. Now all Maradona has to do is pray he shows the same ability for Argentina in the world cup. His job and also his heritage depends on it.