Lionel Messi claimed his sixth European Golden Shoe thanks to his 36 La Liga goals for Spanish champions Barcelona, edging out Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe.
Messi all but clinched the award – handed to the player with the most league goals in any of Europe’s top-flight leagues – for the third consecutive year, beating Mbappe by three following PSG’s defeat Friday.
Mbappe needed to score five goals in PSG’s Ligue 1 finale to collect the Golden Shoe, however, the French sensation could only manage one in a 3-1 loss at Reims.
The young Frenchman finished the season on 33 goals, which while not enough to topple Messi did mark his new personal best for a single campaign, doubling his previous record of 15 goals for Monaco in 2016-17.
And now that Serie A has come to an end the Argentine officially finishes at the top of the pile in Europe after yet another prolific season in front of goal.
The 31-year-old Messi led Barca to back-to-back La Liga titles ahead of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid this season.
Messi’s 36 goals came in just 29 starts as Barcelona rotated their talisman more than usual, meaning he finished the campaign with an incredible strike-rate of a goal every 75 minutes.
In all competitions the star helped himself to 51, marking the sixth season in his record-breaking career that he has passed a half-century in club football.
Completing the podium is Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella, who netted 26 to finish as the top scorer in Italy.
Messi now has two more Golden Shoes than Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who last won the award in 2014-15.
The Portuguese sharpshooter finished his first season in Serie A with just 21 strikes, his worst league season in front of the net since his final campaign at Manchester United in 2008-09.
Not only did he finish behind Quagliarella, Duvan Zapata and Krzysztof Piatek in the race for the Capocannoniere top scorer award, but he also missed out on the top 10 altogether in the Golden Shoe standings.
While Juve’s rotation policy as they cruised to the Scudetto partially explains that drop-off, he nevertheless started more Serie A games at Messi, 30, and has scored just twice in the Italian top flight since the middle of February.