It is the third time in a row the Barcelona star has received the award and sees him equal the record for most wins that was set by former Athletic Club star Telmo Zarra 66 years ago.
Messi finished clear at the top of the chart, scoring both of his side’s goals as they finished the campaign with a 2-2 draw at Eibar, putting him 15 goals ahead of second best Luis Suarez and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema. No player has ever won the Pichichi by such a clear margin – the previous record of 14 was set in 1986-87 by Hugo Sanchez.
The Argentina star is also on course to win the European Golden Shoe for the third consecutive year and sixth in his career. He has scored four goals more than nearest challenger Kylian Mbappe, who seemed to put some pressure on Messi in the race by scoring a double in Paris Saint-Germain’s 4-0 win over Dijon. The French striker can still narrow the gap as he has one Ligue 1 game left to play for PSG this term.
With a tally of 50 in 49 games in all competitions, this is the fifth season in which Messi has reached at least half a century of goals. He will get a chance to add even more to that figure when Barca take on Valencia in the Copa del Reyfinal as they look to end the season with the domestic double.
As well as a prolific goal scorer, Messi has been a consistent creator for the Catalan side this season, chipping in with 19 assists in all competitions. His 13 in La Liga is the joint best alongside Sevilla star Pablo Sarabia.
The attacker’s incredible form has put him among the favourites to win the Ballon d’Or again this season. The five-time winner of the award finished fifth in the running last year as he and Cristiano Ronaldo’s long hold on it was brought to an end by Luka Modric.