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Single season top-scorers in Europe’s five main leagues


Berlin (AFP) – Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski broke Gerd Mueller’s 41-year-old record on Saturday by scoring his 41st goal in a single Bundesliga season.

AFP Sport looks at the top-scorers in a single season in Europe’s top five leagues:

Premier League

Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), 32 goals, 2017/18

On his first season at Anfield, the Egyptian striker toppled the Premier League record by scoring one goal more than the previous joint record held by Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez and Alan Shearer. 

After scoring on his debut at Watford on the opening weekend, Salah then hit four against the same opponents in the return at Anfield.

He never went more than two league games without scoring and only missed two of Liverpool’s 38 Premier League games all season.

Salah then set a new league record with a goal in a 4-0 thumping of Brighton on the last day of the season.

In the pre-Premier League era, Dixie Dean scored a staggering 60 goals for Everton in 1927-28, including eight hat-tricks.

La Liga

Lionel Messi (Barcelona), 50 goals, 2011/12

Messi wrote himself into footballing folklore with a majestic season in which he missed just one league game through suspension. 

He started 2011/12 with a bang, hitting the net 10 times and providing six assists in the first seven matches.

In March 2012, he passed Brazil legend Ronaldo’s record of 34 La Liga goals scored in 1996-97.

Eight days after coach Pep Guardiola’s departure was announced, Messi scored four times against Espanyol to hit the 50-goal mark with a game left.

Serie A

Gonzalo Higuain (Napoli), 36 goals in 38 games, 2015-16

Ciro Immobile  (Lazio), 36 goals in 38 games, 2019-20

Higuain’s goal haul in 2015/16 bettered the 35 goals Swede Gunnar Nordhal scored for Milan in 1950, a record which had stood for 65 years.

Higuain was prolific, never going more than two games all season without a goal, a performance all the more remarkable as he was held up mid-season by a three-game suspension.

The Argentinian levelled and beat Nordhal’s previous record on the last day of the season by scoring a hat-trick against Frosinone.

Immobile equalled the record last season, although 14 of his 36 goals for Lazio were from penalties, compared to three spot-kicks by Higuain.

His goals helped Lazio qualify for the Champions League after a 13-year absence before losing home and away to Bayern Munich in the last 16.

Bundesliga 

Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), 41 goals in 2020/21

The record of 40 goals by Gerd Mueller stood unchallenged since 1971/72, until Lewandowski equalled it last weekend.

Lewandowski, FIFA’s best male footballer of 2020, finally broke Mueller’s record in the 90th minute of the final game of the season when he rounded the goalkeeper to tuck away his 41st goal in a 5-2 home win over Augsburg on Saturday.

Lewandowski’s tally is all the more remarkable as he missed five league games this season, because of squad rotation or injury.

Ligue 1

Josip Skoblar (Marseille), 44 goals in 1970/71

The 50-year-old French league record is all the more remarkable as all of Skoblar’s 44 goals came from open play with no penalties.

Skoblar, nicknamed ‘l’Aigle Dalmate’ (The Dalmation Eagle), could do it all, scoring off either foot or soaring above defenders to power home headers.

He even managed to break the goal net after scoring in a 4-0 win over Nice.

In the half century since Skoblar’s dream season, the only player to get close to his record is Zlatan Ibrahimovic who scored 38 goals for Paris Saint Germain in 2015-2016.

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