Lionel Messi ’ s hat – trick in Barcelona ’ s win at Deportivo on Sunday saw him overtake Mo Salah in the race for the European Golden Shoe,
Skysports reports .
Messi’ s 41st club hat -trick helped Barcelona confirm their La Liga title triumph with four games remaining, reaching 550 goals for Barcelona in 634 appearances .
That puts the Argentine on 64 points, two clear of Salah , who had seven shots in the 0- 0 draw with Stoke on Saturday , but could not hit the target .
Messi, who won last season’ s European Golden Boot having scored 37 times to finish with a total of 74 points, is now in pole position for another individual title , and has four league games remaining compared with Salah ’ s two , starting with the Clasico on Sunday evening .
In third place is Lazio’ s Ciro Immobile, just two goals behind Salah and three behind Messi; the Italian has three Serie A games remaining to make up the deficit.
Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich is in fourth ( 28 goals , 56 points) , while PSG ’ s Edinson Cavani and Inter ’ s Mauro Icardi have 27 goals ( 54 points) . Tottenham striker Harry Kane is in seventh with 26 goals ( 52 points) .
If Messi does stay ahead of Salah , it would make him the first player to get his hands on the European Golden Shoe five times ( 2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2016/17) .
Were Salah to overtake Messi in the final few weeks, the 25-year- old would become the first Premier League player to be crowned Europe’ s top marksman since another Liverpool forward , Luis Suarez , shared the award with Real Madrid ’ s Cristiano Ronaldo four years ago .
Ronaldo was the last player from the English top flight to win the European Golden Shoe outright , after scoring 31 goals to help Manchester United claim the 2007/08 Premier League title .