The Madrid-based daily is in charge of the Pichichi Trophy (La Liga’s top scorer award) and for reporting the tally in La Liga for players to be considered for the European Golden Shoe.
The incident occurred in the 71st minute, when Messi chipped a shot at goal from a very close free kick. Víctor Sánchez was on the line and touched the ball with his head, but failed to clear the ball. According to FIFA’s rules, deflected shots are awarded as own-goals only if the original shot was going to be off-target. Messi’s shot was certainly going to be on target.
Messi is likely to win the Pichichi with or without this goal. With 30 goals by MARCA’s count, Messi is still comfortably ahead of Luis Suárez in second, who has 18.
But the Golden Shoe is another matter. As it stands, Messi is ahead of Kylian Mbappé by just 4 goals across all European leagues.
The Golden Shoe is awarded by European Sports Media, a Netherlands-based association of 14 European sports papers. Each country is responsible for giving the tally for their respective leagues, meaning MARCA has control over Spanish league players’ goal tallies.
ESM has said they will respect MARCA’s count but that they normally go by the referee’s report. The referee awarded the first goal to Messi, as did every other paper that’s a part of ESM, and almost every website and app you can think of.
MARCA says this is not the first time they are reviewing a controversial decision on who to give credit to for scoring.