The 2022-23 football season has seen two youngsters dominating the scoring charts, which indicates the passing of the baton from the duopoly of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland have been the regular names on the scoresheet. At the same time, Ronaldo has earned his reputation back among the leaders for the top scorers in this calendar year, in international and club football combined.
Against Damac FC in the Saudi Pro League, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner scored from the free-kick after nearly seven months to get yet another goal to his name in 2023.
With the 2023-24 season getting all the more competitive, here is the list of the highest goalscorers this year:
1. Cristiano Ronaldo: 43 goals, 45 games
Ronaldo made headlines right before the FIFA World Cup when he sat for a controversial interview with Piers Morgan. Since then, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has moved out of European club football, joining Saudi Pro League side Al Nassr in 2023.
Though he scored 14 times for the team, it was this season that saw him return to full form, as he already has 12 goals in as many appearances until October 22, 2023.
2. Erling Haaland: 42 goals, 45 games
The Premier League Golden Boot winner in the 2022-23 season, Haaland has been instrumental in making Manchester City a truly menacing side. The Norwegian joined Pep Guardiola’s side from Borussia Dortmund last summer and won the treble in his debut season.
In the league this season, he has started exactly where he finished, scoring nine goals in as many appearances. He started the league with a brace against newly-promoted Burnley and also as a hat-trick against Fulham.
3. Barnabas Varga: 39 goals, 42 games
Barnabas Varga was playing in the second division of Hungarian football as recently as 2021. But ever since his debut in the top division of Hungary, he has been a nightmare for the opponents.
For Paks, he scored 26 times in the league to win the Golden Boot last season. Joining Ferencvaros this summer, he has carried on the same momentum, scoring eight goals and assisting two more in eight league appearances.
Varga is not a high-profile name in European club football yet. But, with such figures in 2023, he will definitely be expected to continue making headlines alongside Ronaldo and Haaland.
4. Kylian Mbappe: 38 goals, 39 games
As Paris Saint-Germain saw Lionel Messi and Neymar leave the club, Kylian Mbappe took centre-stage after a standoff between him and the club was settled. The winger scored his eighth goal in as many matches against Strasbourg, helping PSG sit second in the Ligue 1.
While he used to play along the right flank with Messi and Neymar in the squad, he has taken more of a central role after their exit, playing as a secondary striker alongside Goncalo Ramos.
5. Harry Kane: 37 goals, 46 games
When Tottenham Hotspur’s highest goalscorer left England, there were doubts about whether he would continue to find the net in a different league. Within a month, he had his first hat-trick in the Bundesliga, scoring for Bayern Munich, against VfL Bochum.
So far, he has 15 goal contributions in 11 games for the Bavarians and sits fifth in the tally of most goals in the calendar year, with eight goals for the Three Lions in 2023.
(The list is updated until October 26, 2023)
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