Messi awarded La Liga 19/20 top goal scorer

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: MARCA FOOTBALL AWARDS CEREMONY, COMMENTS BY PLAYERS KARIM BENZEMA, LIONEL MESSI AND THIBAUT COURTOIS AND COACH ZINEDINE ZIDANE

SHOWS: UNIDENTIFIED LOCATION, SPAIN (DECEMBER 21, 2020) (MARCA TV HANDOUT - MUST NOT OBSCURE LOGO)

1. MARCA FOOTBALL AWARDS CEREMONY IN PROGRESS

2. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REAL MADRID STRIKER, KARIM BENZEMA, SAYING:

"I would like to thank the fans for this award. I feel very happy and honoured with this award. I hope to keep performing on the pitch as I have been doing, work, show everybody that I can do many good things on the pitch. Thanks very much."

3. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA FORWARD, LIONEL MESSI, SAYING:

"I want to say thanks once again for this award. It is an honour for me to have achieved seven of them and surpass (Telmo) Zarra because of what it means. Thanks very much I send you a hug."

4. JOURNALIST TALKING TO REAL MADRID GOALKEEPER, THIBAUT COURTOIS

5. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REAL MADRID GOALKEEPER, THIBAUT COURTOIS, SAYING:

"I give great value to this year (this season's award) because it is my first with Real Madrid. Apart from winning the league which is the main goal, individual awards are nice to have but collective are always better. This is because of the work of the whole team."

6. JOURNALIST TALKING WITH COURTOIS

7. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REAL MADRID GOALKEEPER, THIBAUT COURTOIS, SAYING:

"As I said, it is important to fight for the league and if we want to fight for the league obviously, we have to try to keep a clean sheet as we recently did against Sevilla and Atletico. If we manage to stay on that same path, I hope I could win it (the Zamora award for fewest goals conceded). The most important thing is to win the league and if I can't win the Zamora it doesn't matter, I prefer to win the league."

8. JOURNALIST TALKING WITH REAL MADRID COACH, ZINEDINE ZIDANE

9. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) REAL MADRID COACH, ZINEDINE ZIDANE, SAYING:

"What players wanted was to play football again (after the COVID-19 lockdown) and they did it in an extraordinary way. They were eager to finish the league and be champions and that is what they did. This award is completely down to them."

10. JOURNALIST TALKING WITH ZIDANE

STORY: Lionel Messi received a record seventh Pichichi Trophy at the Marca Football Awards on Monday (December 21) for being the top goalscorer in La Liga last season.

The Argentine forward netted 25 goals in the 2019/20 season to finish top of the scoring charts for the seventh time in his career, one more time than Telmo Zarra who played for Athletic Bilbao in the 1940s and 1950s.

Messi can break another goalscoring record on Tuesday (December 22) night. If he scores for Barca against Real Valladolid it will be his 654th goal, surpassing Pele's record for the number of goals scored for a single club.

Meanwhile, Karim Benzema received two awards - the fans' best player award and the Alfredo di Stefano award for being La Liga's best player in the 2019/20 season. The Frenchman scored 21 goals as Real Madrid won the league for the first time since 2017. Benzema is the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to win the Alfredo di Stefano prize since Raul did in 2007/08.

Benzema's team mate, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois received the Zamora Award for conceding the fewest goals. It's the third time the Belgian has won the prize having also claimed it twice when he played for Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid's coach Zinedine Zidane was named the best coach in La Liga for the 2019/20 season.

(Production: Silvio Castellanos, Tim Hart)