Lionel Messi had a forgettable world cup in Russia as Argentina crashed out in the round of 16 at the hands of eventual champions France. Some say this was Messi’s last opportunity to lift the elusive world cup trophy but the little magician has developed a habit of surprising us every now and then.
With the world cup fever over, fans are excited for the upcoming club football season with all the top clubs coming in with reinforcements to put a solid case for themselves. Ith so many changes expected there is one thing constant and this is watching Lionel Messi shine for Barcelona. The Argentine will walk out as la Blaugrana player for yet another season with yet another record to break. Over the years the little magician has broken goal scoring record all around. With 552 goals to his name, the Argentine is Barcelona’s all-time top scorer as well as La Liga’s all-time top scorer with 383 goals in 428 appearances.
On the course of scoring so many goals, Lionel Messi has scored some brilliant hattricks as well. With 30 hattricks to his name, the Argentine stands 2nd on the all-time list for most hat-tricks scored in La Liga behind Cristiano Ronaldo. Messi’s brilliant goal scoring ability has been witnessed in the champions league as well in which the Argentine has scored a record 7 hattricks- a record he shares with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Out so many brilliant hattricks by la pulga, here we have his top 5 hattricks in a Barcelona shirt:
vs Real Madrid (2014)
One of the most fiercely contested Clasico of recent memory as Barcelona met Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in 2014. The evenly matched sides locked horns and the winner would have had a clear advantage in the points table. The top 2 sides in Spain battled for yet another time to seek glory and give the world a taste of Clasico mania and they didn’t disappoint. Lionel Messi was the focal point once again as the Argentine scored a memorable hattrick which proved to be the turning point of the season as Barcelona came back from behind on 2 occasions to win 4-3 and go top on the points table.
Lionel Messi set up Andres Iniesta for the opening goal after which Karim Benzema scored 2 in succession to put real in front. The Argentine got the better of Real Madrid’s defense once again as he got on the scoresheet as well. With the scores 2-2, real were awarded a penalty which was successfully converted by Cristiano Ronaldo. With 2 controversial penalty decisions going in Barcelona’s favor in the final quarter of the match Barcelona ended up on the winning side 4-3 as Lionel Messi scored 2 from the spot to claim a hattrick. The hattrick is more remembered for its importance in the title race than anything else.
vs Bayer Leverkusen (2012)
In 2011-12 champions league season, Barcelona met German side Bayer Leverkusen in the round of 16 and it is fair to say that Spanish side was too much for Bayer Leverkusen. In the second leg at camp now, the world witnessed yet another sensational display by Lionel Messi as he scored 5 goals in a match- his first 5 in a match till then. The Argentine was at his prolific best and started the scoring for Barcelona with a classic Lionel Messi chip goal and thus began Leverkusen’s traumatic journey. The Barcelona number 10 notches up 4 more goals to score 5 as Barcelona comfortably dispatched their German opponents 7-1 and 102 on aggregate to progress to the quarterfinals.
vs Atletico Madrid (2011)
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid met in February 2011 for a highly anticipated contest. Diego Simeone put up a rock solid side against Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona to keep the pressure on the Catalonia side at top of the table.
vs Real Madrid (2007)
The day it all started as Lionel Messi scored his first ever professional hattrick for Barcelona. The Argentine put himself on the world map by scoring a brilliant hattrick Barcelona’s El Clasico rivals Real Madrid. The day when real Madrid looked as the sure shot winners, stepped up Lionel Messi and rest, as they say, is history. The majestic Argentine took the center stage and scored one of the most memorable hattricks ever scored in an El Clasico. At just 19, the Barcelona forward exhibited skills of a veteran as Los Blancos faced the wrath, Lionel Messi.
vs Arsenal (2010)
In 2010 Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side went to Camp Nou for the second leg of their quarterfinal match against Barcelona. With the scores settled in the previous encounter (2-2), Arsene Wenger had some hope going into the second leg but little did he know that a little genius is waiting for his side there. Lionel Messi put all arsenal hopes to bed as we witnessed one of the finest individual performances in Europe’s’ elite club competition. Arsenal took the lead early on as Nicklas Bendtner scored to put the visitors ahead but then on it was Lionel Messi spectacle as the Argentine took the centre stage and score 4, yes 4 goals to take his side to the semi-finals.