Some of European football’s finest forwards enjoyed campaigns to remember during the 2020/21 season, with six of the very best reaching the 30-goal landmark in league and continental competition.
There have been some brilliant individual performances across Europe’s major leagues and we’ve decided to look back at the highest scoring players from the campaign.
Here are the six players to score 30+ goals in Europe’s top five leagues and Europe in 2020/21.
Gerard Moreno – Villarreal (30)
Gerard Moreno has produced the best football of his career over the past two seasons to emerge as one of Spanish football’s most dangerous forwards, the Villarreal hitman having scored 50 goals since the start of the 2019/20 season.
Moreno began his career in the academy system at Villarreal before returning to the club in 2018, having impressed his former side during a two-season spell at Espanyol.
The 29-year-old will head to this summer’s European Championship with the national side on the back of his best-ever season in front of goal, scoring 30 times in all competitions as Villarreal won the Europa League.
Moreno netted in the final win over Manchester United and scored 23 times in the league, second only to Lionel Messi in La Liga and a haul that won him a second successive Zarra trophy as the top-scoring Spaniard in the division.
✅ Joint all-time top scorer for Villarreal
✅ UEFA Europa League winner for 1st time
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) May 26, 2021
Moreno was directly involved in 50% of Villarreal’s league goals this season (23G/7A) and will hope to be handed his chance as La Roja bid to make an impression on this summer’s major tournament.
Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus (33)
Juventus may have endured a disappointing season as their dominance of Italy’s Serie A was brought to an end, but it did not stop Cristiano Ronaldo from writing yet more individual history.
Ronaldo finished as the league’s leading scorer for the first time since moving to Turin, netting 29 goals to win a maiden Capocannoniere award and become the first player to finish as the top scorer in England, Spain and Italy.
The 36-year-old netted four times in the Champions League to take his tally to 33 in league and European football, while he also scored twice in the Coppa Italia as Juventus finished the season with silverware.
Ronaldo’s haul also saw him surpass a century of goals for Juventus, meaning he has now scored 100+ goals for Manchester United, Real Madrid and the Bianconeri.
Lionel Messi – Barcelona (35)
Another name on this feature that will surprise absolutely no one, Lionel Messi has continued to do Lionel Messi things in 2020/21.
Barcelona may have struggled to recapture former glories, but Messi has been Spain’s finest footballer once again to finish as the division’s leading scorer for a fifth consecutive campaign.
Messi finished the season with 30 league goals – incredibly reaching that landmark for the ninth time in his career to date – and a further five in the Champions League. For some context of the sheer absurdity of what we are witnessing, the Premier League’s all-time record scorer – Alan Shearer – reached that figure three times, whilst no other player has ever recorded multiple 30-goal league seasons in England’s top tier.
Lionel Messi's 30+ goal league seasons:
Enjoy every moment while it lasts 🐐 pic.twitter.com/XSAQaUjBQ3
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 16, 2021
Messi remains arguably the very best in the business and Barcelona fans dread to think where they would be without him at present.
Kylian Mbappe – Paris Saint-Germain (35)
Kylian Mbappe is now established amongst the leading lights in the European game, with the Paris Saint-Germain superstar having enjoyed the most productive goalscoring season of his career to date.
Mbappe’s 27 league goals saw him finish as the leading scorer in France for a third consecutive campaign despite PSG relinquishing the title to Lille, adding a further eight goals in the Champions League, including a scintillating hat-trick at Barcelona and a double to eliminate holders Bayern Munich.
The 22-year-old also scored seven times in five appearances as PSG won the French Cup, taking his overall haul to 42 across all competitions and a staggering total of 132 goals in just four seasons at the Parc des Princes.
The scary thought for Europe’s top defenders is that there is still room to improve.
Erling Haaland – Borussia Dortmund (38)
Goals have flowed at a quite frankly ridiculous rate for Erling Haaland since his explosion onto the world scene last season, the Norwegian sensation already amongst the best centre-forwards in world football.
Haaland finished his first full season with Borussia Dortmund having netted 38 goals in the league and Europe, finishing as the leading scorer in the Champions League despite the German’s quarter-final exit.
The 20-year-old has now scored 20 goals in just 14 appearances on club football’s biggest stage, eclipsing Harry Kane’s record as the fastest player to reach the landmark by a mammoth 10 games.
At 20-years-old Erling Haaland has won Bundesliga Player of the Year and he's the Champions League top goal scorer.
Going straight to the top if he isn't there already 🔥 pic.twitter.com/Y64utlu9tg
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) May 31, 2021
Haaland also scored three times as Dortmund won the DFB-Pokal to make it 41 goals in just 41 appearances during the 2020/21 season, with no goalscoring record appearing safe from a player who has averaged better than a goal-per-game since the start of last season.
Robert Lewandowski – Bayern Munich (46)
Robert Lewandowski continues to be the benchmark that an exciting generation of centre-forwards are bidding to catch, the Bayern Munich star currently the best out-and-out number nine on the planet.
Lewandowski was unfortunate to see the Ballon d’Or escape his clutches in 2020 after inspiring Bayern to a historic treble, the cancellation of the award perhaps all that prevented his coronation as European Footballer of the Year.
The 32-year-old has continued to set extraordinary standards of consistency however, and has raised his game to new levels again, scoring a staggering 41 goals in just 29 league appearances this season.
40+ goals a season is just ridiculous. 👀
Overtaking the goats in goalscoring is even more ridiculous. 🐐🐐
Robert Lewandowski is a cheat code. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/D00VwM6ytr
— 90min (@90min_Football) June 1, 2021
That haul saw Lewandowski break Gerd Muller’s record for most ever goals in a Bundesliga season, achieved by Bayern’s all-time record scorer in 1971/72.
His 41 league goals were backed up by a further five in the Champions League, with Lewandowski having now scored 40+ goals across all competitions in each of his last six seasons in Munich. Sensational!