Messi has equalled arch-rival Ronaldo’s record of 34 career La Liga hat-tricks.
Messi scored thrice in Barcelona’s 4-1 victory over Celta Vigo, which was also his career’s 52nd hat-trick.
The Argentine opened the scoring from the spot in the 25th minute and followed it up with another strike in first half’s injury time. He then returned in the second half to complete his hat-trick for Barcelona and equal his arch rival’s record. While the former Real Madrid star Ronaldo reached the 34 hat-tricks mark in 288 games for Los Blancos, Messi took 459 matches to become the player with most hat-tricks in La Liga along with Ronaldo.
With Real Madrid registering a victory as well, the race for La Liga has become all the more interesting. Both the Spanish giants are level on points after 12 matches and Barcelona only led on goal difference with the upcoming El Clasico in December set to be a crunch encounter.
Messi scored his 51st and 52nd free-kick goals en-route to his 34th La Liga hat-trick. That further highlights the fact that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner is also one of the best free-kick takers in the world, if not the absolute best among them all.
One thing is for sure, however – he is slightly better than Cristiano Ronaldo when it comes to free-kicks, as indicated by a rather humorous statistic that emerged after Barcelona’s clash against Celta Vigo. Apparently, the 32-year-old has scored more free-kick goals in a single game (2) than what the Portuguese legend has managed to score in the last 694 days at the Camp Nou – that is nearly two years.
Ronaldo is still looking to score his first free-kick for Juventus since joining them in 2018 July – and he was close to scoring one this week, but Aaron Ramsey interfered just before the ball crossed the goal-line, and by rule, the goal became Ramsey’s and not his.