Lionel Messi made headlines yet again with his sensational display against Valencia last week. The Argentine netted two goals to help his team snatch an important win against Valencia in a five-goal thriller. His brace helped Barcelona stay two points off league leaders Atletico Madrid, who have 76 points after 34 games.
The Argentine was rather quiet for most of the match and failed to convert a penalty as well. Fortunately for Messi, a Pedri shot made its way into his path and he made no mistake in scoring from the rebound. Messi completed his brace in the second half when he scored a marvelous free-kick to seal the victory for his team.
With another brace in his kitty, Messi is leading in the Pichichi charts with 28 league goals this season. Robert Lewandowski is the only player ahead of Blaugrana talisman in the goalscoring charts in Europe's top five leagues.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta was delighted with his team's win and claimed that his team can go on to win the title.
"I already said before the game against Valencia that if we win the five games that remain, we are convinced that we will win the league. Well, now there are not five, now there are four [games] that we have left to win the title. I believe in us."
Messi's genius free-kick record can get even better
The latest free-kick against Valencia was Messi's 50th in a Barcelona shirt, with 39 of them coming in La Liga. The brace took his goal tally to a staggering 31 goals against Valencia.
Lionel Messi's exploits helped him close in on another Argentine legend, Diego Armando Maradona. Maradona's tally of 59 career free-kicks for club and country is an Argentine record, whereas Messi has 56 free-kick goals for his club and country.
It goes without saying that Maradona's free-kick tally is well within the grasp of Lionel Messi, who just needs three more to equalize the record. Messi has already crossed the free-kick goals records of great Argentine legends such as Manuel Pelegrina and Daniel Passarella.
Lionel Messi and co. will face league leaders Atletico Madrid on the next matchday. With so much to play for in the league, fans can expect another Messi special against Diego Simeone's men next weekend
Real Madrid will be keeping a close eye on the contest as the outcome of the match will affect their title chances as well. .