Magical Messi and his hat-trick heroics

Lionel Messi added another statistical landmark to his collection with the 50th hat-trick of his career in Barcelona’s 4-2 LaLiga win over Sevilla.

Barca trailed to goals from Jesus Navas and Gabriel Mercado but Messi equalised on each occasion, with his first goal a brilliant volley and his second a delightful curler.

The hat-trick goal was a sublime chip before teeing up Luis Suarez in injury time to wrap up the win.

Here, Football Paradise looks back at Messi’s notable trebles.

First hat-trick

Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 3, LaLiga, March 10, 2007

Messi, aged 19, netted the first treble of his career on the biggest stage possible, salvaging a 3-3 draw against bitter rivals Real Madrid at the Nou Camp in El Clasico.

Ruud Van Nistelrooy twice gave Real the lead in the first 12 minutes but Messi equalised on each occasion to level the match at half-time. Sergio Ramos appeared to have given the visitors bragging rights but Messi latched on to Ronaldinho’s through-ball and left Michel Salgado and Ramos on the ground to level late on. It remains the only time he has scored a hat-trick and his team has not won.

First Champions League hat-trick

Barcelona 4 Arsenal 1, April 6, 2010

Messi scored all four in his side’s quarter-final second leg, cancelling out Nicklas Bendtner’s opener to set up a semi-final with Inter Milan.

His third was the pick of the bunch, a solo breakaway and deft chip after being found by Eric Abidal’s header.

First international hat-trick

Switzerland 1 Argentina 3, international friendly, February 29, 2012

Messi scored two late goals as he lit up the Wankdorf Stadium. His opener was cancelled out by Xherdan Shaqiri but Messi restored the Albiceleste’s lead with two minutes left and added an injury-time penalty.

Another, perhaps higher-profile, international treble followed four months later in a 4-3 win over Argentina’s old rivals Brazil in New Jersey.

  • 1st: Barcelona 3 Real Madrid 3, LaLiga, March 10, 2007
  • 10th: Barcelona 3 Atletico Madrid 0, LaLiga, Feb 5, 2011
  • 20th: Barcelona 4 Malaga 1, LaLiga, May 2, 2012
  • 30th: Barcelona 5 Sevilla 1, LaLiga, Nov 22, 2014
  • 40th: Barcelona 7 Celtic 0, Champions League, Sep 13, 2016
  • 50th: Sevilla 2 Barcelona 4, LaLiga, Feb 23, 2019

Favourite opponents

Messi has scored four hat-tricks against Valencia, including four goals in a February 2012 LaLiga match which Barca won 5-1. That is one of three in the league, in addition to February 2016’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg.

He has three against each of Atletico Madrid, Deportivo La Coruna – including in a 5-4 thriller in October 2012 – local rivals Espanyol, Osasuna and now Sevilla, as part of a record of 36 goals in 35 appearances against the latter.

Four or more

Messi has scored four goals in a game on five occasions – the aforementioned Arsenal and Valencia games plus league encounters with Espanyol in May 2012, Osasuna the following January and Eibar in September 2017. Barca won those games 4-0, 5-1 and 6-1 respectively.

His highest-scoring performance, though, came against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League in March 2012, with five goals as Barca won their last 16 second leg 7-1 for a 10-2 aggregate scoreline.

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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