A Mess in the Pichichi Standings

Messi scores against Athletic Bilbao

After this weekend of matches there is now a mess with the Pichichi classification and it’s not the first time it’s happened.

After his 2 goals at the weekend in Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Athletic Bilbao, Leo Messi extended his lead at the top of this year’s Pichichi. But should he be tied at the top with another player (ahem, Ronaldo) then there will be all sorts of uproar.

There was similar controversy in both 2004-05 and 2010-11, stemming from the awarding of goals by Marca newspaper. Now, despite there being an official count of the league top scorer, the prestigious Pichichi trophy is set up and awarded by Marca newspaper, and Marca don’t use the official goals panel to decide who scored the goals. They decide themselves.

In 2004-05 Diego Forlan won the Pichichi outright, with 25 goals awarded. This, however, despite Samuel Eto’o also being officially labelled as scoring the same amount with Barca. This is because Marca only gave him 24, attributing a goal against his old club, Mallorca, to Deco (despite official arbitrators giving it to Eto’o).

This also had an effect on the European Golden Boot (now called Golden Shoe!). The ‘Bota de Oro’ (Golden Boot) is the award presented each season to the leading goalscorer in league games from the top level of every European league. It uses the Pichichi standings and as such Eto’o missed out on a share of that as well (although, he made up for it by winning both the Pichichi and Golden Boot the following year).

Then for the 2010-2011 Pichichi Marca awarded Ronaldo the prize and listed him as having 41 goals, despite the official tally being just 40. They had given him a goal officially awarded to Pepe. This didn’t matter in terms of competition with others as 40 would also have won it, but it did mean the new Pichichi record he had set was a goal greater than it should otherwise have been. Though it only took a season for the record to be knocked out of the water as Messi racked up a cool 50 goals the following season (last year).

This time the official count gives Messi Barca’s second goal against Athletic but Marca refuse to do so as they say the goal was an own goal by defender Amorebieta, who, in his eagerness to clear Messi’s goal-bound chip, tipped the ball in to the net.

So, the goal is officially Messi’s, but not for the Pichichi Trophy organiser, Madrid’s daily Newspaper.

Right now, although the detail is serious, it is irrelevant because Messi is tyrannical leader of the classification of La Liga’s sharp shooters. Cristiano is currently second with 13 ‘targets’ and Falcao has 11. But if for some reason the final battle would end in a tie, there would be a big problem.

Messi scores against Athletic Bilbao

After this weekend of matches there is now a mess with the Pichichi classification and it’s not the first time it’s happened.

About Sambo

My name is Sam Attard. Some people call me Sambo. I am a freelance web developer and SEO geek and have been professionally developing websites since 2005. I’m an experienced user of XHTML, CSS, PHP, JQuery and WordPress based websites. I have a metal hip.
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