Lionel Messi claims another record as Barcelona end La Liga season
Lionel Messi has finished the season as La Liga’s top goalscorer for a record seventh time.
After his bitter frustration at Real Madrid clinching the title in midweek, the Argentinian scored twice as Barcelona ended their league campaign with a 5-0 win at Alaves on Sunday night.
Messi scored his 25 th goal of the drawn-out league campaign early in the second half against the Basque club, which gave him four more goals overall than Real striker Karim Benzema.
He has now won the Pichichi Trophy – the Spanish top flight’s Golden Boot award – more times than any player, eclipsing the landmark he shared with Athletic Bilbao great Telmo Zarra.
Messi said: “Individual prizes and objectives are secondary. It’s an important achievement to win it seven times, but I would have liked it to have been accompanied by the La Liga title.”
The Barcelona captain was furious after his side’s shock 2-1 defeat by Osasuna on the night Real won the league, lashing out at the consistency of his team-mates and the running of the club.
But the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was pleased with how the team reacted to the disappointment and set themselves up for their Champions League last-16 second leg game against Napoli.
Messi continued: “We saw something else (against Alaves). It was a difficult game due to the situation we were in and the kick-off time and heat, but the team responded with a different attitude and showed great commitment.
“We took a long hard look at ourselves from the inside which is what we needed to do.
"We have not had a good season in terms of performances or results but today we took a step forward. It’s an important step for what's coming next.”
Barcelona ended up second in the table on 82 points, their lowest tally in 12 years and five points behind champions Real Madrid, who drew 2-2 with Leganes in their final game of the campaign.
But the Blaugrana will get the chance to redeem themselves in the return leg of their neatly poised tie with Napoli when the Champions League comes back to the Camp Nou on 8 August.
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