Lionel Messi was at his unplayable best on Saturday to ensure that Barcelona’s season ended on a high with victory over Alavés in the Copa del Rey final.
The intent of the five-time Ballon d’Or winner was clear from kickoff and even when Barcelona lost Javier Mascherano early to a nasty clash of heads, Messi continued to torment Alavés.
The breakthrough came in spectacular but typical fashion for Messi, playing a slick one-two around the edge of the penaty area before bending a left-footed shot into the bottom corner for his 54th goal of the season.
700th career game
565th career goal
30th career trophy
— B/R Football (@brfootball) May 27, 2017
Theo Hernández swiftly brought Alavés level with a wonderful free kick but Mauricio Pellegrino’s side had no answer to Messi’s brilliance and goals by Neymar and Paco Alcácer ensured victory for Luis Enrique on his final game in charge.
Lionel Messi will next be linking up with the Argentina squad for the friendlies against Brazil and Singapore and Jorge Sampaoli will have been watching from Buenos Aires, eagerly anticipating his first session with the world’s best player.