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Impact Player series: Leo Messi wins our Impact Player of the season...but who would you pick?

Leo Messi wins our Impact Player of the season ahead of Liverpool's Mo Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo but who would you pick as your Impact Player?

Messi won the domestic double of League and Cup with Barcelona and picked up his fifth European Golden shoe & Pichichi awards. — by Tony Elotu
Messi won the domestic double of League and Cup with Barcelona and picked up his fifth European Golden shoe & Pichichi awards. — by Tony Elotu

Leo Messi won the European Golden Shoe for a second consecutive season and for a record 5th time. Messi equals the Spanish record of 5 top-scorer medals or “pichichi”, matching La Liga legend’s Di Stefano, Quini and Hugo Sanchez. Messi won the award in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2017 and he is one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.

New record’s for Leo Messi 2017-18 season:

  • Only player to win Five European Golden Shoe awards
  • First player in La Liga history to score 30 plus goals in 7 different seasons

Leo Messi brakes another record as he becomes the first player in La Liga history to score plus 30 goals in 7 different seasons. He improved on last season as he returned to his favourite position as number 10, playing through the middle and given the freedom to roam left and right and deeper infield to orchestrate play.

To add to that, he won both the Spanish League and Cup double with Barcelona. He scored 34 goals in la Liga, the most goals in Europe’s elite league’s this season. Messi beat Mo Salah of Liverpool on 32 Premier League goals – a new record in England’s top-flight – and Tottenham’s Harry Kane finished third with 30 goals.

Benfica’s Jonas – who, despite also scoring 34 goals, comes ninth due to the fact that Portugal’s Primeira Liga has a weaker coefficient. Since the 1996/97 season, the Golden Shoe has been awarded based on a points system, with goals scored in Europe’s top five leagues – according to the UEFA coefficients – multiplied by a factor of two.

Messi is still a deadly dribbler and has been monumental for Barcelona this season playing in his preferred central role under coach Valverde. — by Tony Elotu
Messi is still a deadly dribbler and has been monumental for Barcelona this season playing in his preferred central role under coach Valverde. — by Tony Elotu

Messi is also the assist king, with 18 in all competitions this season. He is joint best with teammate Luis Suarez, both on 12, for the most assists in La Liga. The Argentine has been in majestic form, scoring from all angles and has been a joy to watch this season in La Liga. His scoring is great but his passing game is unrivaled and he still has the ability to dribble past several players.

Messi has been amazing again this season and lead’s the scoring charts in Europe with 45 goals in all competitions for Barcelona. He scored 34 in the league, 6 in the Champions League, 4 in the Spanish Cup and 1 in the Spanish Super Cup. He is currently one goal ahead of Ronaldo and Salah on 44 goals each. Messi scored a goal every 88 minutes this season, the fastest scoring rate, equal with Ronaldo.

Leo Messi has scored 4 hat-tricks, including 4 goals against Eibar, and 4 braces in La Liga this season. He now reaches 383 goals in La Liga and a massive 552 goals for Barcelona in all official games. In March this year he reached a career total of 600 goals for both Barcelona and Argentina.

Messi : the free-kick master matches Ronaldinho’s free-kick record in la Liga.

Messi remains the best free-kick taker in the game and scored 6 this season in the league to equal the record set by Barcelona legend Ronaldinho in 2006-7. He scored with direct free-kicks in three consecutive games from February to March and they have been delightfully executed. His 6 direct free-kicks in La Liga is better than any other player in Europe’s elite league’s this season.

Messi the free-kick master: he also equaled Ronaldinho’s record scoring from six direct free-kick’s in a single season in la Liga. — by Tony Elotu
Messi the free-kick master: he also equaled Ronaldinho’s record scoring from six direct free-kick’s in a single season in la Liga. — by Tony Elotu

Messi wins our Impact Player of the Season

The 30-year-old still continues to impress and has been the best player in La Liga this season and wins our Impact Player of the Season Award. He not only scored the most goals but also provided the most assists.

Our impact player award is a weekly selection of the best player in the 5 major European Championships: England, Spain, Germany, Italy and France.

It not only assesses who scored the most goals during the games during the week but who really brought the most impact in the game – of course the difficulty of the game or the opponent is also rated. For instance, Kevin de Bruyne won our Impact Player in week 5 ahead of Ronaldo who scored two goals that week. De Bruyne scored one and assisted another but his contribution for City was immense and he was the most outstanding player of the week.

Another example was our Impact player of week 10. The competition was surreal as three players scored 4 goals in three different league's. Salah against Watford, Ronaldo against Girona and Mauro Icardi for Inter Milan against Sampdoria.

Mohamed Salah was brilliant against Watford as Liverpool cruised to victory over the north London side. He scored four goals and provided an assist to take our Impact player of the week ahead of Ronaldo who also scored 4 and provided an assist.

Salah was on top-form and his dribbling skills were just on another level as he made two sensational moves to set up two of his goals. His first goal was brilliantly executed, after leaving a defender on the ground following what is described as an “ankle breaking” dribble.

He also skillfully evaded several defenders to score his second goal. He provided the assist for teammate Firmino as Liverpool were back to their best after defeat at Manchester United. His accuracy was unequaled, even by Ronaldo, as he scored 4 goals from 4 shots on goal. He just beats Ronaldo because his exceptional dribbling was the main difference between the two players.

In the 15 Impact player awards in 2018, Messi and Salah have won 3 of them, Agüero 2 and Ronaldo, Sterling, De Bruyne, Mané, Dele Alli and Luis Suarez all one apiece.

Messi wins a record 5th European Golden Shoe for top-scorer in Europe. — by Tony Elotu
Messi wins a record 5th European Golden Shoe for top-scorer in Europe. — by Tony Elotu

Messi was simply outstanding again this season and we take a look at how he won his 3 impact player of week awards.

Week 9

Leo Messi earns the Impact player of week 9 after he scored the only goal in the top of the table clash with Atlético Madrid and scored the equalizer against Las Palmas. He also reached his 600th career goal for Barcelona (539) and Argentina (61) in the process.

Though it was a very tight game, Barcelona’s Messi made his impression on the game with a very good performance and a gem of a free-kick into the top corner. His goal sealed the game and took the league leader’s 8 points clear of Atlético Madrid in second.

Week 13

A brilliant performance in the weekend fixture against Leganes earned Leo Messi our Impact player of week 13. Barcelona won by 3-1 and Messi scored a hat-trick to secure the three points for Barça – his 45th career hat-trick.

Messi’s impact was again unmatched in week 13 and although Ronaldo had a great game and scored against Atlético Madrid in the Madrid derby, he was less influential than his best rival.

Week 16

The Argentine wins the Impact player of week 16 after a masterclass display. Messi scored 3 goals as Barcelona sealed the league title with a 4-2 win against Deportivo La Coruna.

His passing game was excellent but the way he gets into scoring positions is unrivaled by any other number 10 in the business. In that game he scored his 46th career hat-trick and was again the best player in Europe that week.

Sensational Salah just short of Messi’s brilliance

Salah won the best Player in the Premier League this season and was also the top-scorer. — by Getty Images
Salah won the best Player in the Premier League this season and was also the top-scorer. — by Getty Images

The 2017-18 Premier League Player of the Year and 2017 African footballer of the year won 3 Impact Player of the Week awards and it was a close one against Leo Messi. Mo Salah has had his best season in his professional career and has been sensational for Liverpool in the Premier League this season.

He won the Player of the Year award this season ahead of Kevin De Bruyne but he is just short of Messi’s influence and impact though he has been absolutely amazing for Liverpool this season. Mo Salah scored four goals against Watford and 4 braces in the Premier League this season against Leicester, Stoke, West Ham and Southampton.

His dribbling skills and finishing qualities can rival the Argentine forward but Messi adds a further dimension with his exquisite passing game and his sublime free-kicks.

Messi, Salah, Ronaldo, Neymar, De Bruyne, Suarez, Dybala, Lewandowski, Kane, David Silva, Sané, Mané …..

Who would you pick for your impact player of the season?