Lionel Messi has received his fourth Golden Shoe award for leading all of Europe’s leagues in scoring last season.
It’s the fourth time the Barcelona forward has received the honor, drawing him even with Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the award record-holders.
Messi scored 37 in the Spanish league, beating out Dutch striker Bas Dost, who netted 34 for Sporting Lisbon in the Portuguese league.
The 30-year-old also led Europe’s league in scoring in 2009-10 (34), 2022-12 (50 goals) and 2012-13 (46 goals), reports Associated Press.
Messi thanked his teammates for helping him score so many goals, while also saying that he enjoys playing more than ever, 13 years since his debut with Barcelona’s first team.
“I have never considered myself a forward. I have been lucky enough to score goals,” Messi said. “I have grown both on and off the pitch. I keep improving and adding things to my game, and I enjoy playing more and more.”
Real Madrid frontman Ronaldo won the award in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2015, but this time, he failed to make the top five after scoring 25 league goals, says a global media report.
Messi was presented with the trophy on Friday by teammate Luis Suarez, who won the award in 2015-16 with 40. Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets also attended the ceremony in Barcelona.
The Golden Shoe is awarded by European Sports Media, an association of European sports newspaper and magazines.