What happens to a wager if the golden boot is shared? Betting on the top scorer of a certain competition is one of the most popular wagers around, and has been for some time.
The beauty of it is its simplicity, but there is a caveat. In recent years, there have been some occasions where players have shared the title of ‘top gun' in their respective leagues. We will now delve into what happens to your top scorer wager if there's a dead heat at the summit of the scoring charts.
Top scorer vs golden boot winner
Firstly, whether you have bet on the golden boot or top scorer is crucial, as though the two are often the same, they are distinct categories. Top scorer is very straightforward, if your player has scored the most goals along with another player, you will be entitled to a return (more on that later).
Golden boots are a little murkier. Most competitions and bookmakers will share the accolade, but others will move onto other factors to award it to a sole winner, such as fewest minutes played, or assists. The European Golden Shoe breaks for example, breaks ties with the fewest minutes played. If the tie persists, assists are used.
Dead heat rules
To quote Sky Bet:
“In the event that the award is allocated to more than one player, dead heat rules will apply”.
So what are dead heat rules? These rules come into play when an award is shared, and the returns are split by the number of joint winners.
For example, if you bet £10 on Harry Kane to win the golden boot at EURO 2024 next summer at 5/1, but he shared the award with Kylian Mbappe, you would get a return of £25.
Here are a few examples of when golden boots have been shared between multiple players.
The UEFA Champions League does not give out a formal golden boot trophy to its top scorer, but its knockout format does add some extra unpredictability to calling its top marksman in advance.
The last tie was a three way one between three greats: Lionel Messi, Neymar and Cristiano Ronaldo all plundered ten in 2014/15. Messi and Ronaldo unsurprisingly took turns as top scorer every season between 2008/09 and 2018/19.
Erling Haaland has been top scorer in two of the last three campaigns, but this season currently sits behind Alvaro Morata.
The last shared Premier League golden boot was in 2018/19, when Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Liverpool duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane scored 22 goals each.
In 2010/11, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez shared the award with 20 goals apiece. In 1998/99, Michael Owen, Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink and Dwight Yorke scored 18 each.
Remarkably, there was another three-way tie on 18 the year before, with Michael Owen, Chris Sutton and Dion Dublin matching each other’s efforts.
There has only been a tie for the golden boot in 12.9% of Premier League seasons. And with Erling Haaland in the league, that percentage will likely only drop lower!
The Bundesliga saw a tie for its golden boot in 2022/23, as Niclas Fullkrug and Christopher Nkunku shared the award on 16 goals, after Robert Lewandowski had won seven of the previous nine “Kicker-Torjägerkanone” trophies.
Remarkably, in its near 100 years of existence, Spain’s top flight has never seen a shared winner of the Pichichi trophy.
FIFA World Cup
The golden boot at the World Cup is tie-broken by means of assists, then goals to minute ratio.
In 2010, Thomas Muller, Diego Forlan, David Villa and Wesley Sneijder were all top scorers on five goals each, but the young German took home the golden boot as he had four assists to his rivals’ one apiece. Villa was awarded the silver boot as he had the best goals to minute ratio.
Africa Cup of Nations
Astonishingly, a third of AFCON golden boots have been shared between multiple winners. Remarklably, in 2015, the accolade was shared by Thievy Bifouma, Dieumerci Mbokani, Javier Balboa, André Ayew and Ahmed Akaïchi with three each.
On that note, be sure to take a look at our picks for the upcoming AFCON top scorer.
The final word
Always check the rules of the competition you are betting on the golden boot winner for, each are a little different. If in doubt, go with the simpler top scorer.