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Messi stands alone after winning Pichichi award for 7th time

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Despite the mounting issues surrounding him at Barcelona, Lionel Messi shows no signs of slowing down.

The Argentine secured his record-breaking seventh Pichichi Trophy - and fourth in a row - as La Liga's top scorer, finishing the campaign with 25 goals after netting a brace in Barca's 5-0 win over Alaves to close out the season on Sunday.

Messi, 33, went into the season tied with Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra, with the two each having won the Spanish scoring title on six occasions.

Messi's nearest challenger, Karim Benzema, finished the campaign with 21 goals for champions Real Madrid, who stormed to the title as Barcelona faltered after the restart.

With the domestic season now complete, Messi, who also finished with a league-best 21 assists, is turning his attention to the Champions League, which returns next month.

"We need a bit of calm now, in this break," Messi said after Sunday's match, according to The Athletic's Dermot Corrigan. "Wipe the slate, and come back for what we have to do. We have said what we had to say, the self-criticism. Now it is about showing that things can change. And today was important step forward in that."

Barcelona are back in action on Aug. 8 against Napoli, having played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their last-16 clash prior to the pandemic-induced shutdown.

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