Who Will Win The Pichichi Trophy This Year?

Laky MohanContributor IAugust 4, 2009

MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 01: Diego Forlan of Atletico Madrid  celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the La Liga match between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon stadium on March 1, 2008 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

This has been a summer to remember for Spanish soccer fans. Even with the national team's stunning loss to the United States in South Africa, fans have been spoilt by an influx of talent into La Liga. In particular the summer's haul ensures that La Liga contains a majority of the world's top goal scorers.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic was Serie A's leading scorer last term, while Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema both finished second in their respective leagues. Even Kaka was good enough to place fifth in Italy's scoring charts.

Not to mention the reigning European Golden Boot and Pichichi winner Diego Forlan, and his teammate Sergio Aguero. David Villa remains in Spain with Valencia, and may be the most clinical of all the forwards in the country. Gonzalo Higuain is soon becoming the forgotten man for Los Blancos, but few Madrid supporters can forget the 22 league goals he scored last season.

Even the incomparable Raul scored 18 goals, to tie him with Sevilla's Frederic Kanoute. And of course the other two heads of Barcelona's attack: Lionel Messi and Thierry Henry contributed 23 and 19 goals to the cause.

Are you excited yet?

Handicapping next year's race for La Liga's scoring title will be even more difficult than predicting who will win the league, mainly because there are so many talented competitors. The league title has belonged to either Barcelona or Real Madrid since 2004; however the last repeat Pichichi winner was Madrid's Hugo Sanchez in the 1980s. The award hasn't even stayed with the same team since Diego Tristan and Roy Makaay won the awards for Deportivo in 2001-02 and 2002-03 respectively.

The frontrunners this year would seem to be Forlan, Villa, Benzema, Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, and Messi. However, scoring is so evenly distributed for Barcelona that it will take an extraordinary season for a Catalan player to win the scoring title. Real Madrid too have many offensive weapons that are likely to split the goals amongst their side. And since no player has repeated as winner in over 20 years, I would bet against Forlan as well. With that said I think David Villa will win his first Pichichi trophy.

An interesting quirk however, is that Real Madrid have not gone three seasons without a player winning the Pichichi this decade. Will the streak finally be broken? Who do you think will win the Pichichi trophy this year?