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Lionel Messi ties Cristiano Ronaldo's record of most LaLiga hat-tricks

ANALYST
Feature
Timeless

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick for Barcelona against Celta Vigo on matchday-12 of the 2019-20 LaLiga. The result propelled the two-time defending champions to the top of the table, ahead of arch-rivals Real Madrid on goal difference.

The diminutive Argentinian's three-goal haul against Vigo was his 34th Liga hat-trick, taking him level with erstwhile solo record holder Cristiano Ronaldo for most hat-tricks in the Spanish top-flight. The next active player in the Liga with most hat-tricks is Messi's teammate Luis Suarez, with 10.

Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at Real Madrid
Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at Real Madrid

Messi recorded his first hat-trick in the Liga, and the first of his career, against Real Madrid in the 2007-08 season. The Bernabeu faithful had provided a rare standing ovation to an opposition player on the night Barcelona drew 3-3 at the home of the capital club.

The Barcelona captain became the only player to score eight Liga hat-tricks during the 2011-12 season, until Ronaldo equaled the feat by netting as many hat-tricks during the 2014-15 season.

Messi's hat-trick in Barcelona's 6-1 Liga win over Rayo Vallecano in the 2015-16 season broke the long-standing record of Telmo Zarra (23) for most hat-tricks in the Spanish top-flight. However, Ronaldo soon streaked past Messi for the most Liga hat-tricks and ended the 2017-18 season up 34-30 in the list of most three (or more)-goal hauls in the Spanish top-flight.

Messi and Ronaldo have kept pushing each other with their incredible feats
Messi and Ronaldo have kept pushing each other with their incredible feats

After Ronaldo's transfer to Juventus last summer Messi scored three Liga hat-tricks in the 2018-19 season, before drawing level with the Portugal captain's mark of 34 against Celta Vigo yesterday.

Messi's hat-trick against Celta marked the 19th different team against which the Barcelona captain has scored three or more goals in the LaLiga. The diminutive Argentinian has scored three Liga hat-tricks apiece against Valencia, Osasuna, Espanyol and Deportivo La Coruña, two each against Real Madrid, Atlético Madrid, Málaga, Granada, Sevilla, Levante and Rayo Vallecano, while a further eight hat-tricks have come against eight other Liga clubs.

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