Lionel Messi news: Barcelona star closes in on Cristiano Ronaldo's hattrick record
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Sunday saw Barcelona registering a thumping revenge over Levante, who ended the Catalan giants' unbeaten LaLiga run last season.
Team captain Messi was undoubtedly the star of the game, having been involved in all five goals scored. While the Argentine netted a hattrick, he also provided goals to teammates Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique.
Manager Ernesto Valverde was in awe of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, saying, "I don't know how to label him. I don't know how to answer the most repeated question."
"He's the one who makes us play, who gives us amazing goals ... we just have to enjoy him."
The heart of the matter
During the game against Levante, Messi registered yet another treble, taking his overall hattrick tally to 43 across all competitions for Barcelona.
This puts the 31-year-old just one hattrick away from Ronaldo's tally (44) for former club Real Madrid. The Argentine is thereby two hattricks away from becoming the player with the most hattricks for a single club.
In LaLiga, Messi has a hattrick tally of 31, behind former Los Blancos forward Ronaldo with 34.
The night also marked the Argentine's 323rd LaLiga victory to become the player with the most LaLiga wins in Barcelona's history.
The record was previously held by former teammate Xavi who boasted of 322 LaLiga wins for the Catalan club.
Barcelona are now three points clear at the top of the Spanish league table and are next scheduled to face Celta Vigo on Saturday.