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Luis Suarez's Astonishing Pichichi Propels Barcelona to La Liga Win

The Uruguayan's goalscoring run was astounding.

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Luis Suarez scored 40 goals in the league this season, granting him Spain's Pichichi Trophy, or top-scorer award. That's a huge number.

The Lionel Messi-Cristiano Ronaldo duopoly has won the past six - three for each. That a man has emerged that not only can challenge but indeed, surpass those two's gaudy numbers is remarkable.

He already challenged their hold with his 2013-14 season at Liverpool, in which he scored 31 league goals without taking a single penalty. And this year, he's only confirmed it.

It's worth noting, of course, that Messi has been a willing participant of Suarez's Pichichi win - both in terms of directly assisting him from a position further out and, more passively, sacrificing his spotlight for the good of the Uruguayan.

Telmo Zarra, who was La Liga's top scorer before Messi, owns the record for most Pichichi wins with 6. He also owned the record for most goals in a season with 38 in 1950-51. That record stood alone for about 40 years, when Hugo Sanchez tied it in 1989-90. Sanchez and Zarra jointly held the record until Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi both consistently started scoring in those ranges. Messi now owns the record with 50, a truly ludicrous amount.

Suarez's 40 goal mark is the second-lowest in 6 years, which is crazy, because it is higher than any tally before 2010-11. Between 1997 and 2008, no one broke 30 goals. In that time, Diego Tristan won it with only 21 goals, Raul with 24, and Cristian Vieri with 24 as well.

Before then, Hugo Sanchez won one of his with 19, Juanito and Jorge da Silva shared one having scored 17 each, and Amancio and Jose Eulogio Garate shared another one with 14 goals each.

Suarez's Pichichi win should be seen not only as a great achievement for surpassing the league's two most prolific scorers ever, but also within the historical context: it's the highest tally anyone who is not named Messi or Ronaldo has ever achieved.

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