Messi wins 7th La Liga golden boot

MADRID • Lionel Messi finishes as La Liga’s top scorer for a record seventh time, pulling clear of Telmo Zarra’s six while playing for Athletic Bilbao in the forties and fifties.

“I’m never that bothered about the individual prizes and I would have preferred it to have come with a league title like before,” added Messi.

Quique Setien said on Saturday that he still believes Barcelona, at their best, can win the Champions League next month.

And a sparkling attacking display certainly gave a glimpse of what is possible, even if Napoli in the last 16 — and potentially Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals — will offer a completely different test.

There could be fitness concerns for Setien, too, ahead of the second leg against Napoli. Clement Leng- let hobbled off with what looked like a groin problem, with Antoine Griezmann and Samuel Umtiti already out injured.

But Setien has increasingly been putting his faith in youth and the 20-year-old Riqui Puig impressed again in midfield, while 21-year- old Ronald Araújo gave a composed, albeit largely unchallenged, performance in defence.

The 17-year-old Ansu Fati opened the scoring at the near post before Puig teed up Messi to stride through and finish.

Luis Suarez capped a superb move by heading in his 17th league goal after Jordi Alba volleyed Mes- si’s pass across, with another Puig through ball allowing Nelson Semedo to lash in a fourth.

Messi had the last word with a smart finish on the half-volley. — AFP