Villaflor: The Old and the La Liga

Noel Villaflor
·2 min read

In the La Liga, the old rule the world.

To be more precise, strikers above 33 years old are this season’s pichichi material.

What’s a pichichi? That’s the La Liga player who has found the back of the net the most.

And since the 2014-15 season, the Spanish football newspaper Marca has handed out the Trofeo Pichichi, while retroactively naming top scorers from prior years as pichichi winners.

So who has won the most Trofeo Pichichis?

Who else but Lionel Messi with seven wins, all playing for FC Barcelona: in 2009–10, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2016–17, 2017–18, 2018–19 and 2019–20.

In the last decade, only two other players not named Messi won as pichichi: Cristiano Ronaldo in 2010–11, 2013–14, and 2014–15 and Luis Suarez in 2015–16.

While Ronaldo has left Real Madrid and the La Liga, Messi and former Barca teammate Suarez continue to ply their trade in Spain.

And guess what? Messi (23 goals) and Suarez (19 goals) are leading the pichichi race.

What makes their feat astounding is that both players are supposed to be nearing retirement age (read: old).

Messi is 33 years old while Suarez, now with Atletico Madrid, is 34.

And if that’s not absurd enough, the third top scorer of the La Liga is Real Madrid’s 33-year-old Karim Benzema (17 goals).

Playing catch-up with the La Liga oldies are Villareal’s 28-year-old Gerard Moreno (16 goals) and Sevilla’s 23-year-old Youssef En-Nesyri (15 goals).

Talk about a generation gap.

But with still more than a dozen matches to play, nothing is certain yet with the pichichi race.

And yet at this stage in the La Liga, with these great veteran footballers setting the bar so high, one thing is clear: Age is just a number.