The best goalscorers quickly become heroes to football fans around the world, and La Liga – Spain’s top flight league – is no different.
In recent years, of course, the league’s goalscoring charts have been dominated by two players who no longer ply their trade in Spain – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Incredibly, either one or both of them scored over 40 goals in a single 38-game La Liga season six times.
But who else joins them on the list of La Liga’s all-time top scorers?
Who Scored the Most Goals in One Season in La Liga?
Lionel Messi holds the record for most goals scored in one La Liga season, having notched an amazing 50 goals from 37 games during a majestic 2011/12 season.
The Argentinian missed only one La Liga game and scored four goals against local rivals Espanyol in the penultimate game of the season to hit the 50-goal mark, smashing the previous Spanish record of 40 held by his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
La Liga Record Goals in a Season (Top 10)
|2||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||48||35||2014/15|
|3||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||46||38||2011/12|
|6||Cristiano Ronaldo||Real Madrid||40||34||2010/11|
|8||Telmo Zarra||Athletic Bilbao||38||30||1950/51|
|9||Hugo Sanchez||Real Madrid||38||35||1989/90|
It is no surprise to see Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominating this list of La Liga’s all-time top scorers in a season, and worth noting that in the 2011/12 season they scored a whopping 96 goals between them.
The only player from outside Spain’s ‘big two’ on the list is Athletic Bilbao’s Telmo Zarra, who was a prolific scorer for the Basque side. He scored a then-record 251 La Liga goals in his career, and the Zarra Trophy is still awarded to the highest-scoring Spaniard in La Liga each year.
Players Who Scored 40+ Goals in a La Liga Season
Only three players have scored 40 or more goals in a single La Liga season – Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have both achieved the feat on three occasions, while Messi’s Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez hit the 40-goal mark in the 2015/16 season.
For comparison, no player has yet to reach the 40-goal mark in the English Premier League.
Lionel Messi (2011/12, 2012/13, 2014/15)
Lionel Messi scored 46 league goals in 2012/13, 43 goals in 2014/15 and an even more incredible 50 league goals from 37 games in 2011/12, a record that still stands today.
His 46 goals in 2012/23 were scored in only 32 games, an average of a goal every 52 minutes as he led Barcelona to the league title.
Cristiano Ronaldo (2010/11, 2011/12, 2014/15)
Messi’s great rival Cristiano Ronaldo has also broken the 40-goal barrier three times in La Liga, having netted 48 times in 2014/15, 46 times in 2011/12 and 40 times in 2010/11.
As well as the 48 goals in 2014/15, Ronaldo also provided 17 assists, and in all competitions that season netted an astonishing 61 goals.
Meanwhile, his 46 goals in 2011/12, combined with Messi’s 50, means that 96 goals is the biggest tally ever by two players combined in a season in one of Europe’s top five leagues.
Luis Suarez (2015/16)
In a season where teammate Lionel Messi ‘only’ scored 26 goals, Luis Suarez stepped up for Barcelona to notch 40 goals as his side won the league title once again.
Suarez netted an amazing six hat-tricks on his way to winning the Pichichi Trophy as La Liga’s top goalscorer, five goals ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo