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9 European Golden Boot winners who didn’t lift the league title in the same season

From Ronaldo to Diego Forlan, via Francesco Totti and Thierry Henry, scoring goals doesn't always guarantee a league title

Goals win games. But goals don’t necessarily win league titles, as these European Golden Boot winners prove.

None finished higher than 2nd, with one unfortunate soul finishing way down in ninth, despite his goalscoring heroics.

We’ve left Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo out of contention because they are aliens and not footballers, as their respective 50 and 48 league goals in non-title winning seasons highlight.

Ronaldo collects Golden Boots like we collect rare stamps

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Ronaldo collects Golden Boots like we collect rare stamps

Ronaldo- Barcelona (1996/97)

This is where Ronaldo was at his freak of nature best.

His one and only season at Barcelona, under Bobby Robson, ended with 34 league goals in 37 games.

But even with Hristo Stoichkov, Laurent Blanc, Robert Prosinecki and Pep Guardiola playing alongside him Ronaldo could only help Barcelona to a second place finish in La Liga.

Wonder who won that race?

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Wonder who won that race?

Nikos Machlas- Vitesse Arnhem (1997/98)

Ever heard of Nikos Machlas? Nope? Well here’s the lowdown.

The Greek striker won the European Golden Boot after scoring 34 goals to guide Vitesse Arnhem to a third place finish in the Eredivisie.

No mean feat, given he was playing against Jaap Stam, Edwin van der Sar and the De Boer brothers.

All those goals and yet that’s the only photo you can find of Machlas on Getty Images

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All those goals and yet that’s the only photo you can find of Machlas on Getty Images

Keving Phillips- Sunderland (1999/2000)

Before Kim Kardashian was around the most fashionable K in existence was Kevin Phillips.

His 30 goals inspired Sunderland to finish seventh in the Premier League and made him the first, and as of yet the only, Englishman to win the European Golden Boot.

Not bad for a lad who started out playing right-back.

The king meets the king

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The king meets the king

Roy Makaay- Deportivo La Coruna (2002/03)

Rudolphus Antonius Makaay, or Roy to his close friends, spearheaded Deportivo to a first, and only, league title in 2000.

But it was three years later, while still at Depor, that he was crowned the European Golden Boot winner after scoring 29 goals.

It was only enough to fire Deportivo to 3rd, as Real Madrid’s Galacticos pippped Real Sociedad to the league title.

Hands up if you’re on the way to winning the European Golden Boot

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Hands up if you’re on the way to winning the European Golden Boot

Thierry Henry- Arsenal (2004/05)

Those were the days hey, Arsenal fans?

Henry smashed 25 goals for Arsenal to pick up his second consecutive European Golden Boot but it wasn’t enough to stop Chelsea winning the Premier League.

What Arsenal fans thought was a blip turned into a 13-year drought.

So quick even cameramen couldn’t keep up

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So quick even cameramen couldn’t keep up

Diego Forlan- Villarreal & Atletico Madrid (2004/05 & 2008/09)

The population of Villarreal is smaller than the capacity of their home stadium, which gives some perspective to how much El Submarino Amarillo punch above their weight.

In 2005 Forlan scored 25 goals, sharing the European Golden Boot with Henry, and propelled Villarreal to third in La Liga.

The Uruguayan repeated the feat four years later with Atletico Madrid where, alongside Sergio Aguero, he scored 32 league goals. Not bad for a United reject.

The award spends the week at Diego’s house then stays at Thierry’s on the weekend

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The award spends the week at Diego’s house then stays at Thierry’s on the weekend

Luca Toni- Fiorentina (2005/06)

The sight of Toni wheeling away with his hand to his ear became a regular occurrence in Serie A during the 2005/06 season.

Toni, who’d been playing in Italy’s second division two seasons prior, scored a career-high 31 league goals for Fiorentina.

But the Italian football scandal meant, despite Toni’s goals, Fiorentina only finished in 9th, missing out on European football completely.

No one ever did help ol’ Luca with his poor hearing

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No one ever did help ol’ Luca with his poor hearing

Francesco Totti- Roma (2006/07)

It’s a footballing travesty that Totti finished his career with just one league title to his name.

The 2006/07 season followed a typical pattern. Totti was at his awe-inspiring best, but his team-mates couldn’t quite keep up.

He scored 26 league goals but Roma finished as Serie A runners-up, a distant 22 points behind Roberto Mancini’s Inter Milan.

The King of Rome

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The King of Rome

Luis Suarez- Liverpool (2013/14)

This was the season that everything Suarez touched turned to goals.

If it wasn’t for Crystanbul his 31 league goals would have seen Liverpool crowned Premier League champions, and deservedly so.

As it was they had to settle for second place, with Iago Aspas’ corner taking a constant reminder of how fine the margins of success are.

A winning, if slightly dangerous, smile

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A winning, if slightly dangerous, smile

What would Arsenal fans do to have this man back?

THIERRY HENRY ARSENAL: The greatest Premier League striker of all time