- The Barcelona striker ended the La Liga season with 36 goals
Lionel Messi has become the first player to win the European Golden Shoe for the third successive season.
The Barcelona star scored 36 goals in La Liga as the Catalan giants finished 11 points above Atletico Madrid to secure back-to-back league titles.
The 31-year-old, who also claimed the award in the previous two campaigns, has beaten Kylian Mbappe to the accolade after scoring three goals more than the Paris Saint-Germain forward.
The France World Cup winner was the only player with a realistic chance of catching Messi and entered PSG’s final league game of the season needing to find the net four times in order to equal the Argentine’s tally.
However, he was only able to score a single consolation goal – taking his final total to 33 – as Thomas Tuchel’s side ended their season with a disappointing 3-1 defeat at Reims.
Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella sits third in the list with 26 goals and has just one more chance to improve his total – when he brings his Serie A campaign to a close against champions Juventus on Sunday.
It means that Messi is set to win the European Golden Shoe for a record sixth time after he surpassed four-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo last season.
Ronaldo (2013-14, 2014-15), Arsenal striker Thierry Henry (2003-04, 2004-05) and former Rangers and Scotland goalscorer Ally McCoist (1991-2, 1992-3) are the only other players to have won the accolade in back-to-back seasons.
However, both Ronaldo and Henry shared the award in their second years – when their totals were matched by Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan respectively.
Barcelona captain Messi has scored 50 goals in all competitions this season and is hoping to lead his side to a domestic double when they play Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.