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Setting the benchmark: Who has scored most goals in a season across Europe's top five leagues?

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After Lazio striker Ciro Immobile took the European Golden Shoe in the 2019-20 season, Bayern Munich frontman Robert Lewandowski took the accolade this year after scoring 41 goals in the 2020-21 Bundesliga season.

The Poland international was simply untouchable this season, and his figure of 41 goals took him past Gerd Muller's previous Bundesliga season record of 40 goals. The 32-year-old achieved it in Bayern’s last league game; a 5-2 win over Augsburg.

With that in mind, here we look at players with the most goals scored in a single season across Europe’s top leagues:

Most goals in a Premier League season - Mohamed Salah (32 goals) 2017/18

Try not to get confused. Andrew Cole and Alan Shearer did score 34 goals in the 1993/94 and 1994/95 Premier League seasons, respectively, but that was when the league had 42 games in a campaign. On the other hand, Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah holds the record for most goals in a 38-match Premier League season when he scored 32 goals in the 2017/18 season. 

The Egyptian broke the record of 31 goals previously held by Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United, 2007/08), Luis Suarez (Liverpool, 2013/14), and Alan Shearer (Blackburn Rovers, 1995/1996).

Most goals in a La Liga season - Lionel Messi (50 goals) 2011/12

The 2011-12 season was arguably the best season for Lionel Messi on the personal front. Although Barcelona missed out on the La Liga title and the UEFA Champions League, the Argentine scored a whopping 73 goals that season, with 50 of them coming in the Spanish top-flight itself. It is a record yet to be touched. His rival Cristiano Ronaldo came close in the same year, but he ended with 46 goals.

Most goals in a Serie A season - Gonzalo Higuain in and Ciro Immobile (36 goals) in 2019/20

Ciro Immobile’s tally of 36 goals in the 2019/20 Serie A season equalled the figures of former Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain. The Argentinian striker had scored 36 goals in the 2015/16 Serie A season. As for Immobile, 14 of his 36 goals came from the penalty spot as Lazio finished within the Champions League spots. It was also the third time that Immobile had ended up being the top scorer in a Serie A season after 2013-2014 (22 goals) with Torino, and in 2017-2018 (29) with Lazio.

Most goals in a Ligue 1 season - Josip Skoblar (44 goals) 1970/71

The likes of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar may have dominated Ligue 1 in recent times, but the pair are nowhere near the record of former Marseille forward Josip Skoblar. Between 1970-1973, Skoblar dominated the goalscoring chart every single season, ending up as the top scorer. 

The former Croatian forward set the record for most goals scored in a Ligue 1 season in 1970-71, when he found the net 44 times in just 36 games. This accounted for 1.22 goals per game. The closest anybody came to match that figure was Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he scored 38 goals for Paris Saint-Germain in the 2015/16 season.

Featured photo: AFP / Sven Hoppe

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