Lionel Messi tops LaLiga Santander’s scoring charts for the fourth consecutive season at this point of the campaign.
It’s not exactly news that the Argentinian is outscoring everyone in Spain, but what’s curious is that he’s doing it with just 14 goals to his name.
The No.10 is leading the Pichichi charts with a one goal lead over Karim Benzema, in what is the low scoring pursuit of Spanish football’s award for the top scorer.
It’s an unprecedented low in recent years, and not since 2006/07 were the top scoring players on such a low total after 23 rounds of fixtures.
In that season it was Diego Milito who led the way on 13 strikes, closely followed by Ruud van Nistelrooy with 11.
Van Nistelrooy went on to score 14 more in the final 14 rounds and finished the season as Pichichi with 25 goals.
Winners of the award in recent seasons have tended to have more goals to their name by now.
Messi had 25 in 2018/19, 18 in 2017/18 and 23 in 2016/17, while Luis Suarez had 24 by now in 2015/16 and Cristiano Ronaldo had 24 in 2015/16 when he last won.
The Barcelona captain’s current numbers are even lower than Diego Forlan‘s 19 in 2008/19 and Luis Fabiano’s 22 in 2007/08.
The lowest scoring LaLiga Santander since 2006/07
It’s not just the Pichichi hopefuls who are struggling to find the net, but the entirety of LaLiga Santander is struggling for goals this term.
So far, 583 goals have been scored, which is the lowest number in 13 years.
It should be noted, though, that there have been just five goals fewer than there were at this same stage last season, perhaps highlighting Cristiano Ronaldo‘s impact during his stay in Spain.
With Messi and Ronaldo competing in the same division, the total never fell below 600 at this point.
Without the Portuguese, the figures have dropped below 600 again, just as they did in 2007/08 (593) and in 2006/07 (540).
The precedent of 2006/07 bodes well for Real Madrid, as Fabio Capello‘s side went on to win the title then with Van Nistelrooy topping the scoring charts.
Only Ligue 1 has fewer goals
Across Europe’s five major leagues, only France’s top tier is showing lower figures than Spain’s.
After 23 rounds only 573 goals were scored in France, 10 fewer than in Spain.
In the Premier League, 635 had been scored, there have been 610 already in just 21 Bundesliga rounds, while Italy’s Serie A has more goals than the rest with 671.
LaLiga Santander struggling in the Golden Boot
It’s a rarity for Spain’s sides to not be represented in the Golden Boot race.
Since 2008/09 every winner of the award has played in Spain.
Diego Forlan won it then at Atletico Madrid, Messi has since won six, Cristiano Ronaldo got three and one of those was shared with Luis Suarez, who himself has won it once.
But this season Messi is only on 28 points, some way short of Lazio’s Ciro Immobile who has 50 and sits top of the leaderboard.