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Suarez claims top billing with Ronaldo

ESPN staff
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Luis Suarez has claimed a share of the European Golden Boot award after Cristiano Ronaldo missed Real Madrid's final league game of the season through injury.

The Portuguese finished as La Liga's top scorer with 31 goals from 30 games but had to pull out in the warm-up before Real beat Espanyol 3-1 on Saturday due to a hamstring problem.

Golden Boot top 10

  • The system gives goals in Europe's biggest leagues an extra weighting, but Ronaldo and Suarez could not be separated or beaten:
  • 1. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) 31
  • - Luis Suarez (Liverpool) 31
  • 3. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 28
  • 4. Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid) 27
  • 5. Jonathan Soriano (Salzburg) 31
  • 6. Cira Immobile (Torino) 22
  • 7. Alfred Finnbogason (Heerenveen) 29
  • 8. Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool) 21
  • 9. Luca Toni (Verona) 20
  • - Yaya Toure (Manchester City) 20

He was reportedly keen to play in the final game of his domestic campaign to score and claim the Golden Boot trophy outright, but his club insisted his was a moral victory anyway.

In a statement on the club's official website, Real showered their player with praise and hinted at his supremacy by pointing out that Ronaldo's goals-per-game ratio over the season was better than Suarez's.

"For Cristiano Ronaldo the individual awards just keep coming," Real said. "With La Liga now over, the Portuguese managed an average of more than one goal per game after finding the net 31 times in 30 matches to make him the championship's top goal-scorer.

"He also topped the list in Europe, where he will share the Golden Shoe with Luis Suarez, who scored the same number of goals as the Real Madrid player, but having played two more matches in the Premier League."

Thierry Henry and Diego Forlan both claimed the award in 2004-05 and Suarez and Ronaldo are only the second pair to have to share the prize.

They beat off competition from last year's winner, Lionel Messi, who had to settle for third this time; his tally ended at 28 goals for Barcelona after the Argentine and fourth-placed Diego Costa, of Atletico Madrid, failed to find the net in their teams' 1-1 draw last weekend.

Suarez's Liverpool team-mate Daniel Sturridge finished eighth and Manchester City's Yaya Toure was the only midfielder who made the top 10 after scoring an impressive 20 goals for the Premier League champions.

In contrast to the apparent sour grapes from Real, Liverpool highlighted the glittering season their Uruguayan striker has had.

The club said: "It [the Gold Boot is the latest in a string of personal awards for Suarez, who has been recognised for his outstanding campaign.

"He has picked up player of the year accolades from the PFA, Football Writers' Association and the Premier League in recent weeks, while he also scooped a trio of trophies at the recent Liverpool Players' Awards Dinner."

Suarez is only the second Liverpool player to win the European Golden Boot after Ian Rush in 1983-84.

Ronaldo, 29, has previously won it twice: in 2007-08 when with Manchester United and in the 2010-11 season after moving to the Bernabeu, when he managed 41 goal in 34 games.

He has already broken the single season record for Champions League goals - with 16 goals in 10 games so far - and could add to that tally should he be fit to play in Saturday's final in his home country.

But he has only completed 90 minutes in two of his club's last 10 games due to thigh and knee issues and will be a real fitness concern for Real ahead of Saturday's Champions League final with Atletico Madrid and for Portugal with the World Cup looming in Brazil.

Cristiano Ronaldo came off injured during Real Madrid's draw with Valladolid © Getty Images
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