Lionel Messi news: Barcelona talisman scores 50th career hat-trick, closes in on Ronaldo's all-time record
What's the story?
LaLiga leaders Barcelona extended their lead at the top by 10 points over second placed Atletico Madrid with an emphatic 4-2 away win over Sevilla at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, thanks to another stellar performance by their captain and star man Lionel Messi, who notched a hat-trick against the hosts.
With his third hat-trick of the season, the Argentine has now scored three or more goals for club and country on 50 occasions, becoming just the second active player behind Juventus ace Cristiano Ronaldo to do so.
In case you didn't know...
Ronaldo holds the record for the most number of hat-tricks in the Spanish LaLiga, with 34.
Messi now has 32 hat-tricks and is on track of overtaking the Portuguese's record.
Messi has scored three hat-tricks this season, while Ronaldo is yet to register a treble with his new club this season.
In more than a decade of goalscoring, the Argentinian has returned eight hat-tricks in the UEFA Champions League, 32 in the Spanish Liga, three in the Copa del Rey, one in the Spanish Super Cup and a further six at international level.
The heart of the matter...
In their LaLiga meeting with Sevilla, Barcelona came back from behind twice, courtesy Messi, to inflict a 4-2 loss upon the hosts.
The 31-year-old was involved in all four goals of the Catalan giants, assisting striker Luis Suarez's injury-time cheeky goal with a perfectly weighted pass.
Messi's three-goal haul against Sevillistas was his 50th career treble with club and country, with 44 coming for Blaugrana and six for Argentina.
Now he's just one hat-trick shy from Ronaldo's tally of 51, who has the most number of career hat-tricks for an active player. Also, he now has 32 LaLiga hat-tricks for Barcelona, which is two short of the all-time record of 34 scored by Ronaldo during his 8-year spell with Real Madrid.
Messi was at his best yesterday and scored an outrageous volley in the 25th minute to put his side level with Sevilla.
Lionel Messi is having a record-breaking season in Spain this year. Though he turned 31 last year, he's showing no signs of slowing down. He also currently leads the European Golden Shoe charts.