Just incase anyone needed reminding of Lionel Messi's goalscoring prowess after the Argentine star had taken an extended holiday, the 25-year-old netted a hat-trick in Barcelona's 8-0 friendly triumph over Raja Casablanca on Sunday.

Messi scored a record 73 goals for Barcelona last season, and gave an early indication that his potent form is set to continue into the next campaign with his treble during Barca's pre-season preparations.

Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring at the Grand Stade in Tangier before Messi struck to make the score 2-0, with both players then on target once again to put Barcelona four goals ahead.

The match was over as a contest before the break as Messi scored his third of the evening, to add to the 11 hat-tricks he netted for club and country last term.

Dani Alves added a fifth from the penalty spot shortly before the hour mark, before Barcelona prospects Sergi Roberto and Gerard Deulofeu both found the net as the game enter into the final stages.

After the game, Messi attributed his instant success to a summer of relaxation, having spent previous pre-seasons in competition for Argentina.

The free-scoring forward was also quick to extol the virtues of new Barca manager Tito Vilanova who, says Messi, has maintained the same training techniques as predecessor Pep Guardiola.

"I haven't been able to do a good pre-season for a long time because I always arrived late. It has been very good to have such a long rest," Messi told El Mundo Deportivo.

"The way of training has continued in the same way and we are working with the same people so we haven't noted any changes.

"We are in pre-season and so you notice the tiredness. They kept the ball well and made us run a lot but we will get better with every game.

"We are training very hard and we have to continue like that to arrive in the best shape possible for the important matches."




 

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