The Barcelona forward netted three times against Rayo Vallecano yesterday, his 32nd for the club which sets a national record.
Lionel Messi continued his rich vein of recent scoring form against Rayo Vallecano yesterday, with the Argentine netting a hat-trick in a 6-1 Barcelona win.
The treble came in 12 second-half minutes and astonishingly was the South American’s 32nd hat-trick for the Catalan club.
It also allowed the four-time Ballon d’Or winner to set another record, with Messi now having scored the most hat-tricks in the history of Spanish football.
The record was initially held by legendary Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra, but Messi’s name now goes down in the history books for another reason.
More importantly, the South American’s goals and Barcelona’s win sends Luis Enrique’s men to the top of the La Liga table, leapfrogging Clasico rivals Real Madrid – who were beaten 1-0 by Bilbao on Saturday.
It also means that Messi has now scored 30 La Liga goals this season in 25 starts, equalling Cristiano Ronaldo’s tally at the top of the personal goalscoring charts.
Barcelona take on Eibat next in La Liga next weekend and are still in the reckoning to record a memorable treble this season, with the Argentina international a key part in dictating whether they can.