Lionel Messi hat-trick: Barcelona star scores three against Rayo Vallecano to set new record

The Argentine scored three in a 12 minute spell

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The Independent Football

Lionel Messi hit his 32nd hat-trick for Barcelona on Sunday to set a new Spanish record.

The Argentine struck a penalty after 56 minutes against Rayo Vallecano followed by further goals after 63 and 68 minutes to go one ahead of former Athletic Bilbao great Telmo Zarra.

The three goals in 12 minutes were half of those scored in the 6-1 La Liga victory at the Nou Camp. Luis Suarez scored two and Gerard Pique the other.

In comparison to Messi's 32 hat-tricks for Barcelona, Cristiano Ronaldo has notched 27 for Real Madrid.

Victory for Barcelona moved them to the top of the league following Real Madrid's defeat yesterday.