The records keep tumbling for Lionel Messi and earlier today the 27-year-old became the leading scorer in Champions League history with a hat-trick over APOEL Nicosia. Messi’s first actually broke the record, surpassing the 71 scored by Raúl, but as Barca ran out 4-0 winners, the four-time Ballon D’or winner ended with the match ball and his tally in the Champions League now at 74.
Luís Suarez had already given Barcelona the lead with his first for the club but after this it was all about Messi. His first was an instinctive flick of his right boot to divert Rafinha’s shot into the net, the second a delightful clipped finish and the third a simple tap in from Pedro’s cut back to complete his second hat-trick in a week.
Upon breaking this most recent record Messi was typically modest, “I am happy for having achieved such a nice record in a competition of this importance, but the really relevant thing is that we took the three points. Barcelona played a great match.”
If Messi downplayed his achievements, Barcelona manager Luís Enrique more than made up for it, exclaiming, “I’ll say it again, he’s the best ever in this game.”
This was Messi’s 28th hat-trick for Barcelona, and his fifth in the Champions League, taking his tally to 74 in just 91 Champions League appearances.
Still only 27, who knows how many records Messi will have to his name by the end of his career. Here is a breakdown of those that he has already smashed:
APOEL 0 – 4 Barcelona