Messi Keeps Up Laliga’s European Golden Shoe Dominance

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The European Golden Shoe is staying in LaLiga. The award given out at the end of each season to the leading scorer in Europe is going nowhere. FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has won the past two editions after netting 37 and 34 league goals in the 2016/17 and 2017/18 LaLiga campaigns respectively and this year’s tally of 36 means he has completed a back-to-back-to-back scoop of the prestigious award.

This is Messi’s sixth Golden Shoe. Having already smashed his way to the all-time record after his fifth win, this latest gong serves only to further extend the No.10’s legacy. For Barcelona, this is the eighth time they’ll see one of their players presented with the award, the most of any club since the first edition in 1967/68. Along with Messi’s six, the Catalan club have had Europe’s top scorer in their ranks with Ronaldo Nazario – now president of R. Valladolid – in 1996/97 and in 2015/16 with Luis Suárez.

Real Madrid take second place in the rankings: Hugo Sánchez did it in 1989/90 and then Cristiano Ronaldo won it three times, in 2010/11, 2013/14 and 2014/15.

In fact, Ronaldo has four Golden Boots in total, having also been Europe’s most lethal forward in the 2007/08 campaign while still playing for Manchester United. 2008 turned out to be the last season in which a LaLiga player didn’t pick up the award.

In 2013/14, Ronaldo shared it with Liverpool’s Luis Suarez after both registered 31-goal seasons, but the Uruguayan didn’t stay a Premier League player for long, signing for Barcelona that summer.

LaLiga has come to dominate this award over the years, so much so that the Pichichi trophy handed out to the top scorer in the Spanish league has almost become synonymous with the continental award.

In total, there have been 15 Golden Shoe winners playing in LaLiga, more than double that of the next closest league, Portugal’s Primeira Liga with seven. In addition to Messi’s six wins, Cristiano’s three and one-off titles for Hugo Sanchez, Ronaldo Nazario and Luis Suarez, other LaLiga players to have been recognised with the prestigious award are RC Deportivo’s Roy Makaay (2002/03) and Diego Forlan for both Villarreal CF (2004/05) and Atletico de Madrid (2008/09).