La Liga may have been shorn of a certain Cristiano Ronaldo this season, but the Spanish top flight still boasts an impressive array of some of the world’s finest forwards. From Messi to Suarez, Griezmann, Benzema and Bale, who’s playing the starring roles in the race for the Pichichi in 2018/19?
Last time: Lionel Messi claimed the Trofeo Pichichi last season, after netting 34 goals in 36 games. That made it back-to-back wins for the Barcelona man, and his fifth in total.
La Liga Top Scorer Predictions and Preview
With Ronaldo out of the way, this season presents an opportunity for forwards up and down Spain to write themselves into La Liga’s record books. A number of players are giving it a good go, although there’s one name that refuses to be ruled out of the conversation.
After Messi’s fifth success last season, only Athletic Bilbao legend Telmo Zarra has more Pichichi trophies to his name than Barca’s mercurial magician. Win it this year though, and Messi draws level. He’s certainly made a decent start to the campaign with nine goals so far, which is the same number as Nou Camp teammate Luis Suarez.
The Uruguayan is the only player whose surname isn’t Messi or Ronaldo to have claimed the Pichichi in the last nine years. He scooped the award in 2015/16, and is 5/1 to reclaim the trophy this season. There’s no doubting who the favourite is though, with Messi priced at 4/6.
Away from the Barca boys, Cristhian Stuani is actually leading the way in the goalscoring charts at present. Middlesbrough fans will be shocked to learn their former player has 11 goals so far this term, at an average of one every 85 minutes. To put that into perspective, that’s the best ratio of any player who’s scored three or more goals this season, 22 minutes better than Messi’s, and 37 better than Suarez.
Girona’s Stuani is 12/1 to finish as La Liga’s top scorer, which is a slightly better price than you can get for Iago Aspas. The Celta Vigo forward is the only other player to reach double figures so far. He has 10 goals, and is 10/1 for the Pichichi.
Andre Silva has made an excellent start to the season with Sevilla, as the Portuguese forward bids to get his career on track on loan from Milan. He is 25/1, which is the same price you can get for the first Real Madrid entry on the Pichichi price list.
Karim Benzema has five goals this term, but the Frenchman has never been prolific in Ronaldo’s shadow and doesn’t look like proving otherwise now he’s gone. Gareth Bale is in the same boat as Benzema. The Welsh winger doesn’t look capable of replacing Ronaldo’s goals, after only managing three in 13 La Liga appearances so far. Bale is at 66/1 to finish as this season’s top scorer.
Antoine Griezmann doesn’t have much more of a chance than his cross-city rival in the bookies’ eyes. The Atletico Madrid forward has only managed three goals this season after helping France to World Cup glory, and he’s 50/1 for the Pichichi. His Atleti teammate Diego Costa is out at 200/1 after only netting once so far this campaign.
Long shot: Borja Iglesias currently only has one goal less than Messi and Suarez. The 25-year-old Espanyol striker has eight goals so far this season, and is available at a massive 250/1 to pick up an unlikely Pichichi.