Barcelona captain Lionel Messi did not even feature in the Catalan giants’ final game of the 2020-21 season on Saturday at Eibar but still managed to make more La Liga history.
The Argentine has finished the season as the top scorer in Spain’s top flight to win the Pichichi trophy for a record-extending eighth time in his career. It’s also the fifth season in a row that Messi has finished top of the pile, a feat that has never been achieved before.
Lionel Messi is the first player in LaLiga history to be crowned top scorer in FIVE consecutive seasons.
He surpasses Alfredo Di Stéfano and Hugo Sánchez (both 4) to claim yet another record. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/6r9BMsnYdK
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 22, 2021
Messi ended the campaign with 30 goals from 35 appearances to finish seven goals clear of Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Villarreal striker Gerard Romero.
The Barcelona captain missed Saturday’s win at Eibar after being given permission to take a break ahead of his involvement at the Copa America this summer with Argentina.
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Griezmann Goal Gives Barcelona Win
Barcelona ended the campaign in third place in the table following victory over Eibar at Ipurua. Coach Ronald Koeman made plenty of changes to his team with Neto, Junior Firpo, Ilaix Moriba, and Francisco Trincao all starting.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 22, 2021
More changes came at half-time after a poor opening 45 minutes from the visitors. Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, and Martin Braithwaite all arrived, while Riqui Puig and Miralem Pjanic also came on later in the half.
Barca had to wait until the 81st minute to break the deadlock and score the only goal of the game. Ousmane Dembele did well to create the chance but then needed a slice of luck before crossing for Griezmann to volley home.
The goal continues the good form the Frenchman has shown since the turn of the year, as highlighted by Opta.
25 – Only Lionel Messi 🇦🇷 (37) & Gerard Moreno 🇪🇸 (30) have been involved both more goals in all competitions than Antoine Griezmann 🇫🇷 (25, 15 goals & ten assists) in this calendar year. Coq@FCBarcelona #eibarbarca pic.twitter.com/72X7c0cJDi
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 22, 2021
Griezmann will now head off for a break before joining up with the France squad for the delayed 2020 European Championship.
Suarez Wins Title For Atletico
Barcelona’s season may have ended in disappointment but there was joy for former striker Luis Suarez who scored in a 2-1 victory for the Rojiblancos over Real Valladolid that delivered the title for Diego Simeone’s men.
An emotional Suarez spoke after the match about how his summer exit from Barcelona provided plenty of motivation for the current campaign, as reported by journalist Rik Sharma.
He said after the win, “It was tough in the summer, the way they [Barcelona] undervalued me, but I’ll always be grateful to Atletico. Five leagues in seven, there’s Luis Suarez.”
Look what it means to Luis Suarez 😢❤️
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 22, 2021
Suarez was spotted dining with Lionel Messi in the build-up to the match and also told reporters the Barcelona captain had spoken to him about the match. He added, “I know that Messi will be happy for me. He wished me luck the other day.”
The Uruguay international has scored 21 goals this season for Atletico to fire the Rojiblancos to the top of the table. Barca may regret allowing him to leave for another title rival but can take consolation from the fact that Atletico’s win at least denied bitter rivals Real Madrid top spot.
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