Lionel Messi news: Barcelona talisman matches 66-year-old record as he wins a landmark sixth Pichichi trophy
What's the story?
Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona's ever-reliable captain, has added another key award to his collection of individual awards. Thanks to his stunning goal-scoring exploits in LaLiga this season, Messi has earned a record-equaling sixth Pichichi trophy of his career.
Messi, 31, scored 36 goals in LaLiga this campaign to bag the honor of being Spanish top-flights sharpest shooter for the third year in a row. Throughout the season, there was never a shadow of doubt about him retaining the award, with his closest rivals Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema, 15 goals behind him, producing a return of 21 goals apiece.
In case you didn't know...
The La Masia graduate is the only player in the history of the competition to have scored 50 goals in a single campaign, having reached the astonishing mark in the 2011-12 season, in which he won his second Pichichi trophy.
Only Lionel Messi, Telmo Zarra, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Quini and Hugo Sánchez have bagged the prestigious award on five or more occasions since the inception of the award in 1929.
Former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo lifted the honor only three times despite scoring 292 goals for the club in just 311 league games.
The heart of the matter...
Messi, was there yet again for his side, as his brace against Eibar ensured that the Blaugrana do not end their title-winning campaign with a defeat.
He also scored his 50th goal across all competitions for the club in the 2-2 draw, while taking his tally of LaLiga goals to 36, as he secured a record-equaling sixth Pichihi trophy.
Zarra, who earned his sixth honor in 1952-53 season, was a prolific striker back in his day and had outscored everyone else in 1944-45, 1945-46, 1946-47, 1949-50, 1950-51 and 1952-53 campaigns to set a record that has not been broken yet, but matched by Messi after 66 years.
Messi has been the top-scorer in the LaLiga in the 2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-12, 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
Messi leads the way for European Golden Shoe with 36 goals and is all but assured of a sixth Pichichi-European Golden Shoe double at the end of the season.
It remains to be seen whether Kylian Mbappe, who is back from a three-match suspension, can score four or more goals in his last game of the season when PSG take on Reims next Saturday, to beat the five-time Ballon d'Or winner to this individual award.