Lionel Messi equaled Telmo Zarra’s record of six Pichichi awards after the Barcelona star finished the 2018-19 season as the leading scorer in LaLiga.
The Argentinian has had a sensational campaign for Barca in the league, scoring 36 times in 34 appearances.
His form has been the main catalyst for Barca’s title surge, with the Catalans finishing the season 11 points clear of nearest rivals Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.
In other news, Ernesto Valverde will remain Barcelona’s head coach for 2019-20, club president Josep Maria Bartomeu has confirmed.
Valverde will lead Barca to a second consecutive domestic double if his side beat Valencia in the final of the Copa del Rey, having already clinched the LaLiga title.
But despite extending his contract until the end of next season in February, Valverde’s future has been questioned after Barca’s Champions League exit.
They beat Liverpool 3-0 at home in the first leg of the semi-final but spectacularly collapsed at Anfield, losing 4-0.
Valverde’s Barca crashed out in similar circumstances last year with a 3-0 defeat to Roma in the quarter-final second leg.
Although former player Ronald Koeman and Ajax coach Erik ten Hag have been linked to the club, Bartomeu is backing Valverde.
“The planning for next season is already underway, and has been for some time,” he told reporters on Thursday.
“Some players have already signed, and we’ll keep having talks after the [Copa] final.
“Valverde said the other day that he has the support of the president and the board. He’s the coach we want. We’re halfway through a large project.
“He has a contract and we’re very happy with him. Now it’s about how the players recover from the enormous setback.”
Bartomeu insisted Valverde’s position will not be under threat if Barca lose to Valencia in Seville on May 25.
And Messi, who has rarely looked in danger of being caught, with team-mate Luis Suarez and Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema the closest to him with 21 apiece.
It is the sixth time in his career Messi has taken home the Pichichi trophy as LaLiga’s top scorer in a single season, moving him level with Athletic Bilbao great Zarra.
Among Messi’s 36 goals were three hat-tricks – against Real Betis, Sevilla and Levante – while he rounded out the campaign with a brace in the 2-2 draw with Eibar.
He could yet add the European Golden Shoe too, with Messi four goals clear of Kylian Mbappe, who has one league game left to play this season with Paris Saint-Germain.
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