The 2017/18 La Liga season reached its conclusion on Sunday. FC Barcelona were runaway winners, having incredibly sealed the title with 4 games to spare.
A major driving force behind this dominant Barca performance was one Lionel Messi. With 34 goals, Messi finished as the league’s top goal scorer, comfortably ahead of second placed Cristiano Ronaldo, who finished with 26 goals. This would be Messi’s 5th Pichichi trophy (awarded to the highest goal-scorer in Spain every season).
With 12 assists to his name, Messi also finished as the highest assist-provider, tied with teammate Luis Suarez and Villareal’s Pablo Fornals. This is the 4th time that Messi has finished on top of the La Liga assists charts.
Messi won his first Pichichi award in the 2009-10 season, in which he also scored 34 goals. Since then he has finished as the highest goal-scorer in Spain in the 2011-12, 2012-13, 2016-17 and now the 2017-18 season. His best return was in the incredible 2011-12 season where he scored a record 50 goals. To this day, he remains the only player to have scored 50 goals in a single season in any of the major European leagues.
In 2011, Messi finished top of the assists chart for the first time with 18 assists. This is the second highest ever tally behind Xavi’s 20 assists in the 2008-09 season. Since then he has finished as La Liga’s highest assist provider in the 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2017-18 seasons.
Since he finished as top goal-scorer in the 2009-10 season, Messi has finished as at least one of top goal scorer or top assist provider in every season except the 2013-14 season. Interestingly however, this is the first time he has finished with both most goals and assists. Unsurprisingly, Messi is the all-time highest goal scorer as well as assist provider in La Liga history.
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