Sunderland hero claims no Englishman will ever match his European Golden Shoe winning achievement

Lee Grocott

Kevin Phillips made history in the 1999/00 season when won the European Golden Shoe award after scoring 30 Premier League goals for Sunderland.

Phillips joined Sunderland from Watford in 1997 for an unassuming fee of £650,000 and was seemingly an unlikely candidate to win the award for Europe's most prolific striker.

Sunderland v Man Utd
Sunderland v Man Utd


The former Birmingham, West Brom and Blackpool striker has now suggested his efforts may never be bettered by another English player, while he believes his achievement is even greater because he did it in a season where his team finished seventh. 

The former Black Cat told  Planet Football: 

“I thought it was a hell of an achievement. No disrespect, but generally when players score 30 goals, they are doing it in a team who are in the top two, three, or four in the league. 

"I did it for a team that finished seventh, in a team that – and I love Sunderland, they’re dear to my heart – are not fashionable compared to Man Utd, Arsenal, Liverpool and so on."

The 43-year-old claims his record will stand the test of time and is unlikely to be achieved again by an English player, thanks to the prolificacy of some of Europe's superstars.

Kevin Phillips
Kevin Phillips


He added: “To have received the Golden Boot in the whole of Europe as well, it’s never been beaten [since, by an English striker], and I don’t think it ever will when you have the likes of Messi and Ronaldo and Neymar."

Tottenham fans may beg to differ with Phillips, as Spurs prized forward Harry Kane continues to improve with every season, while Man Utd fans will continue to hope Marcus Rashford builds on an early potential to become one of Europe's top strikers.

After coming from the Championship and winning the Golden Shoe award in his first Premier League season, Phillips claims he never doubted his own abilities, it was just a case of whether the team could create enough chances.

He said: “I think the biggest thing was wondering if we’d create enough opportunities in the Premier League. I’ve never ever doubted my own confidence, my self-belief, but when it’s a big jump and you’ve only had a couple of years in the Championship it was a big step.”

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