Photo: Lionel Messi (@FCBarcelona)
Messi was honored for scoring 46 goals in 32 Spanish-league matches in the 2012-13 season, receiving the award from former Barça star and 1989-90 Golden Shoe co-recipient Hristo Stoichkov at a ceremony in Barcelona.
The Argentine was joined at the ceremony by FC Barcelona President Sandro Rosell, head coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino and teammates including Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernandez and Gerard Pique.
Messi, who is currently out of action with a hamstring injury, dedicated this and his previous awards, including his four consecutive FIFA world-player-of-the-year honors, to his teammates, saying he would not have achieved anything without them, and to his family “who loves me and has been there in the toughest moments.”
“(The European Golden Shoe) was never my goal when I was healthy and much less so now,” Messi, who is expected to miss the rest of 2013, said.
The striker became the first three-time winner of this award.
His first came in the 2009-10 season, when he scored 38 goals for the Blaugrana, and the second in the 2011-12 season, when he put a whopping 50 balls in the back of the net.
A Spanish-league player has won the European Golden Shoe for five consecutive seasons.