Betis fans applaud and chant Lionel Messi's name after his hat-trick goal in Barcelona's 4-1 win

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga

There are no more words left to describe Lionel Messi.

The Argentinian star was at his brilliant best as he helped Barcelona to a 4-1 win over Betis on Sunday evening.

Having fired Barcelona through to the quarter-final of the Champions League with two goals and two assists in the midweek win over Lyon, Messi could have been forgiven for having a quieter night at the Benito Villamarin.

But he was never going to let that happen.

The 31-year-old opened the scoring with a delightful free-kick in the 18th minute.

He made it 2-0 just before half-time, finishing off after Luis Suarez picked him out with a superb pass.

Suarez added a third for the Blaugrana before Loren pulled a goal back for the hosts.

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga

Betis fans applaud Leo Messi

Then came Messi’s hat-trick goal. And what a goal it was.

After transitioning the ball from the right to the left, Messi chipped the ball over Betis goalkeeper Pau Lopez from inside the ball to complete the 51st hat-trick of his career.

Even Betis fans inside the stadium stood up to applaud Messi, with chants of ‘Messi, Messi Messi!’ echoing around.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner expressed his gratitude at the reaction he received from the home crowd.

He told Movistar that he couldn’t remember an ovation like the one he received, per Barcelona correspondent Samuel Marsden.

Just what else can you say about him?

He is playing better than anyone else in the world right now, making a complete mockery of his fifth-place finish at the 2018 Ballon d’Or.

With 39 goals in 37 games, he’s enjoying yet another tremendous season and Barcelona should be thankful for him.

Real Betis Balompie v FC Barcelona - La Liga

With Atletico Madrid losing 2-0 to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, Barcelona’s lead at the top of La Liga now sits at 10 points.

With 10 matches remaining, it’s hard to see how the Blaugrana aren’t going to make it four titles in five years.

And they’re still hopeful of landing the Champions League and Copa del Rey.

What a season it could be.

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