Barcelona scooped the top prizes at the La Liga Awards on Monday night with Lionel Messi beating Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo to the top striker award.
The Messi Award for many is another pointer that Argentine is on course for his fifth Ballon d’Or title having been listed alongside teammate, Neymar and Ronaldo again.
The La Liga Awards which had a gala ceremony in Barcelona on Monday night was organised by the Spanish football league.
To win the top striker award, Messi scored 43 goals and was the catalyst for Barcelona’s run to three titles last season — the Champions League, La Liga and the Spanish Cup
“I’m proud to receive this award ahead of so many important players in La Liga,” said Messi.
“This award in particular I want to dedicate to my son Thiago (aged 3) even if he still doesn’t understand very well. Every time I leave the house he gets angry and asks me: ‘Papa, are you going again to score goals?’ This award is for him.”
Messi also won the vote for the best striker following a poll of the captains of each of Spain’s top flight sides.
Barcelona’s Claudio Bravo was voted the best goalkeeper and Luis Enrique top coach while Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and James Rodriguez were named best defender and midfielder respectively.
Valencia’s Algerian midfielder Sofiane Feghouli was voted the top African player and Barcelona’s Brazilian striker Neymar, the best player from the American continent.
Real Madrid’s Portuguese star Ronaldo, who scored the most La Liga goals last season with 48, won the publics’ choice award.