Before now, Messi is known to be the owner of the La Liga Golden boot award season in and season out. He has won the award a record 7 times. In the last four seasons, the 33-year-old Argentina forward has been the only player in the league that has been winning the award.
When Cristiano Ronaldo was playing in the league for Barcelona arch-rival Real Madrid, he was the main player that used to give Messi a run for his money as far as the award was concerned. But since he left Madrid for Juventus in 2018, no player has been able to come close to Messi except Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
However, in the thick of the competition between Messi and Ronaldo, Luis Suarez was strongly in the mix and was also pushing every season to prove that he could also belong to their class in terms of goalscoring prowess. Antoine Griezmann was also a strong force when he was playing for Atletico Madrid but failed to break the chain even when he joined Messi at Barcelona.
In the 2015-2016 season, Luis Suarez finally got his breakthrough in La Liga’s top goalscorers chart. The 33-year-old former Uruguay international performed overwhelmingly by scoring a whopping 40 La Liga goals in one season. Ronaldo and Messi were not able to meet up with such a number that season, hence, Suarez won the 2015-2016 La Liga Golden Boot award.
The Uruguayan football icon has achieved a similar feat in the Premier League while he was playing for Liverpool. In his last season at the club, before he joined Barcelona, he scored 31 goals to become the 2013-2014 highest goalscorer in the Premier League.
Lionel Messi vs Luis Suarez: the battle line
It is no longer news that Luis Suarez has been forced out of Barcelona and has joined Barcelona’s arch-rival, Atletico Madrid. This will not just be a threat to Barcelona as a club but to Lionel Messi as an individual who has master the art of winning the La Liga golden boot.
Now that Suarez has broken out of his shadow and has joined a top rival like Atletico, this season could be about them in terms of their goalscoring numbers.
The duo started their La Liga campaign yesterday, September 27, and did not play in the squad for the first time in 6 years. While Messi waited for a spot-kick to record his first goal of the season against Villarreal, Luis Suarez only needed less than 20 minutes of playing time in the Atletico Madrid match against Granada to prove to Barcelona that he still has what it takes to be a top striker. The Uruguayan scored two goals and provided an assist within 20 minutes.
Since Messi and Suarez have opened their goals account in their first match of the season, followers of La Liga would not only focus on the team that will top the La Liga table, they will watch with keen interest to see who will grab the Trofeo Pichichi this season.