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GOAL! Messi “scores” without playing as MARCA award him one more goal

Messi’s official tally for the Pichichi and Golden Shoe races just went up by one

FC Barcelona v RCD Espanyol - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Diario MARCA has officially granted Lionel Messi one more goal than it had previously tallied after an official review.

MARCAs count controls the Pichichi Trophy (for La Liga top scorer), and is the one used for La Liga players trying to win the European Golden Shoe.

Previously, MARCA had awarded Barcelona’s opening goal in their 2-1 win over Espanyol as an own goal. Messi’s free kick had been deflected by an Espanyol defender practically on the goal line. FIFA rules state that if a shot is headed into the net, the last player on the attacking team to touch the ball is the goalscorer, even if a defender deflects it. An own goal is given only if the ball was heading off-target originally.

The referee’s report had given it as a Messi goal, something echoed by most sports papers, sites, and apps, but not MARCA. However, MARCA after review has awarded the goal to Messi, meaning he is sitting on 31 goals by their count now.

Messi is hoping to extend his record of most European Golden shoes won by one player, and he is now 4 goals ahead of Kylian Mbappé, 10 ahead of Fabio Quagliarella, and 12 ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo in his bid to win it again. Messi has won the award five times and is looking for his sixth. The player with the second most in the history of the award is Ronaldo with four.

Messi is more comfortably ahead in the Pichchi race, with 13 more than his teammate Luis Suárez, his nearest competitor.

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