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Neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo: the striker who ended as the European top goalscorer

The Spaniard striker that broke all the records and was the European top goalscorer. 

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo

Jonathan Soriano has spent the majority of his career playing for unfashionable clubs including Red Bull Salzburg, Girona, and Beijing Guoan. But, at one moment in time, he was just as prolific as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo - rivalling those two legends for the European Golden Shoe.

However, because a points system favours players in tougher leagues to win even if they score fewer goals than a player in a so-called weaker league, Soriano missed out on the award. Soriano hasn't always plied his trade in the lower leagues.In fact, he began his youth career playing at Barcelona's cross-town rivals Espanyol before he was released in 2009.

Then, he joined Barça with a view to play in the reserves for their third division side. Soriano showed promise and was given a run out by the first team - playing in the dying minutes of a 2–0 win at Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa in a Copa del Rey tie. It was to prove to be his only appearance with the senior side, despite finishing the following season as top scorer in Spain's Segunda Division B with 32 goals.

Messi vs. Ronaldo has been one of the most heated rivalries ever

In 2012, Barcelona refused to renew his contract and Soriano was left on the football scrapheap aged 27. With lots to prove, Soriano joined Red Bull Salzburg that same year. But in his first season, he needed time to settle and managed a modest five goals in 15 games from January. However, his second season was a different story. 26 goals in 32 league games showed his proficiency in front of goal.

The 2013-14 season was Soriano's most prolific - with an astonishing 48 goals in 43 games. It was the same campaign he was crowned Europa League top scorer - netting a brace against Ajax as Red Bull Salzburg reached the last 16 before they were knocked out. His 31 league goals tied him with Luis Suarez and Ronaldo in the European Golden Shoe stakes but it was a technicality he lost out on.

Jonathan Soriano showing his skills

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