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Lionel Messi finishes as Europe’s top scorer for third straight year

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Lionel Messi has become the first player to win Europe’s Golden Shoe award for three straight years after his nearest challenger Kylian Mbappe failed to score the four goals he needed in Paris Saint-Germain’s (PSG) final league match of the season on Friday.

Messi earned the honor, which goes to the leading scorer in league matches in Europe’s top divisions, for a record-extending sixth time after finding the net 36 times for Barcelona, while Mbappe ended the campaign on 33 goals after scoring PSG’s only goal in a 3-1 loss at Stade de Reims.

While Messi’s goal haul helped his side clinch the La Liga title last month the 31-year-old Argentine said earlier on Friday that he was not giving the Golden Shoe race much thought with the side still coming to terms with their Champions League semi-final elimination to Liverpool.

“I haven’t been thinking about that prize at all, we are still coping with what happened against Liverpool and I’m not thinking about personal awards,” Messi told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Valencia.

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Since losing to Liverpool, Valverde’s team have beaten Getafe 2-0 at Camp Nou before ending the league season with a 2-2 draw away at Eibar on Sunday.

“We are still recovering from the game against Liverpool, at least I am, I just want to win this final and finish the year with another title,” Messi said.

Barcelona are chasing a record fifth consecutive Copa del Rey triumph to go with their eight La Liga titles in the last 11 years.

“Last year, we did the double and even though it was stained by getting knocked out of the Champions League, this year we can win the double again,” Messi added.

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