Named after LaLiga legends Rafael ‘Pichichi’ Moreno and Telmo Zarra the trophies are awarded each year to the top goalscorer and leading Spanish goalscorer respectively.
Leo Messi, LaLiga Santander’s top scorer… again.
Lionel Messi’s total of 30 LaLiga goals won the Barcelona captain a record eighth Pichichi award.
Messi had a difficult start to the season, scoring just one goal – a penalty – in his first five La Liga games. However, he soon kicked into gear with a double strike against Real Betis in early November, while 12 goals in his first eight games of 2021 saw him take control of the Pichichi race, with number 30 coming via a rare header against RC Celta on the penultimate weekend.
In the end, Messi’s phenomenal accuracy and consistency saw him finish well clear of Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno (23), Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema (23), and his former teammate Luis Suarez, now of Atletico Madrid (21).
Amazingly, Messi has scored at least 23 times in each of the last 13 LaLiga seasons, with his highest total being the all-time record of 50 goals in 2011-12. In total, the now 34-year-old has 473 goals in 519 La Liga games, all for Barca.
Gerard Moreno, the top scoring Spanish player in LaLiga for the second-straight season
Moreno’s 23 goals in 33 games for Villarreal saw the Spain international striker retain the Zarra trophy and was just reward for his continuing excellence in front of goal through the season.
The 29-year-old Catalan scored in both his first two games of the season, and kept finding the net throughout the season, with a highlight being the superb hat-trick at Granada in April. He also fired home in three of the last four games of the season, to set the highest LaLiga tally of his career. His previous best total in a LaLiga season was 18, when winning the Zarra last season, while he also hit 16 when at former club RCD Espanyol in 2017-18.
Lethal finishing with both feet, and from all types of situations inside the penalty area, saw Moreno build a big lead over the season, with Iago Aspas (RC Celta) coming in second with 14, then Jose Luis Morales (Levante UD) and Rafa Mir (SD Huesca) tied on 13 each. Aspas already has three Zarra trophies (2016-17, 17-18 and 18-19), while 23-year-old Mir looks a potential future winner for sure.
Moreno now has a total of 90 goals in 233 LaLiga games. The 29-year-old looks set to add to his total of five goals in 10 Spain caps at this summer’s rescheduled Euro 2020 championships. His phenomenal form over the past few seasons has seen him become the go-to number nine for Spain coach Luis Enrique, and with good reason.