Lionel Messi has been confirmed as the European Golden Shoe winner for a fifth time after finishing the 2017-18 season with 34 La Liga strikes.
The Barcelona superstar won up the award after edging out competition from Premier League duo Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane with 68 points in the Golden Shoe scoring system.
Messi came off the bench late on as Barcelona ended their victorious league campaign by beating Real Sociedad 1-0 at the Nou Camp.
The Argentine was all-but assured of winning the award but the conclusion of the Serie A season confirmed his superiority, with Ciro Immobile and Mauro Icardi’s slim chances of catching him were ended.
Salah’s outstanding first season at Liverpool resulted in 32 goals, while Tottenham’s Kane reached the 30-goal mark despite being struck by an ankle injury in the final months of the campaign.
Three players ended tied for fourth on 29 goals – Lazio’s Immobile, Inter Milan’s Icardi, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
The Golden Shoe award is given based on a points system which allows players in stronger domestic leagues to win even if they score fewer goals than a player in a weaker league.
So, while Benfica’s Jonas scored 34 times this season, the strength of Portugal’s Primeira Liga means he tallied just 51 points, 17 less than Messi.
Messi successfully defends the award having won it in 2016-17 with 74 points, while his team-mate Luis Suarez clinched the gong the season before.
In comparison, though Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo managed just 26 goals in La Liga this season, his Golden Shoe score is 52 points.
Messi also secured La Liga’s top scorer award for a fifth time in the process, meaning he has now won the prize twice more than his rival Ronaldo has managed during his time in Spain.