Lionel Messi completes his hat-trick v Betis with superb goal


Barcelona are heading for their fourth La Liga title in five years.

The Blaugrana’s 4-1 win over Betis on Sunday evening leaves them 10 points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid with 10 league games remaining.

The star of the show was Lionel Messi, as he so often is.

The Argentinian set Barcelona on their way with a superb free-kick in the 18th minute.

And he doubled the score in first half injury-time, converting after Luis Suarez’s incredible pass.

Messi also scored twice in Barcelona’s 5-1 win against Lyon in midweek and he made it five goals for the week with a remarkable chip late on.

It means he has now scored 39 goals in all competitions this season.

Messi's hat-trick goal

Simply remarkable.

Messi's first two goals


Messi's record 477th Barcelona win

Messi’s appearance at the Benito Villamarin saw him go joint-second on the list of official appearances for the Blaugrana. He has tied former teammate Andres Iniesta on 674 matches, with Xavi, on 767, the only player to have played more games.

And the 31-year-old managed to set a personal record by winning his 477th Barcelona game.

Messi was tied with Xavi on 476 wins before Sunday’s match but he’s now the outright record-holder.

We salute you, Leo.

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Sergio Busquets is third on the list with 381 wins while former centre-back Carles Puyol is fourth with 369.

Messi’s record looks likely to stand for a very long time.

He’s still only 31 and can play at the highest level with Barcelona for several more seasons.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner admitted last year that Barcelona will be the only European club that he plays for, with a return to boyhood club Newell’s Old Boys in Argentina in his future plans.

“I’m increasingly sure that in Europe, Barcelona will be my only club,” Messi told Argentine television station El Trece, per the Independent.

“I always said I wanted to play in Argentine football one day, I don’t know if it will happen but I have it in my mind.

“It would be at Newell’s, nowhere else.”

Sorry to the 19 other La Liga clubs. Messi isn’t leaving Spain anytime soon.

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