Lionel Messi hat-trick sees him become Barcelona's all-time top scorer

 

Lionel Messi last night surpassed the goal record set by Cesar Rodriguez during the 1940s and 50s to become Barcelona's all-time top scorer.

The reigning World Player of the Year netted his 232nd, 233rd and 234th Barcelona goals with a hat-trick in La Liga in a 5-3 victory against Granada at the Nou Camp.

His eighth hat-trick of the season saw him equal the record of 232 goals (which yesterday a study had revised down from 235) set by Rodriguez, a Spaniard who served Barcelona for 16 years and would later become their manager. He then secured the record outright in the 68th minute when he lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Julio Cesar. His third with four minutes to go wrapped up Barca's win.

Messi's hat-trick also saw him set a Spanish record of 54 goals in all competitions in a single season and overhaul Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of La Liga scoring charts on 34 goals.

Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola was full of praise for his star asset in what is a glittering Catalan side.

"We are witnessing the best [player] in every sense," he said at his post-match press conference.

"He does everything, and he does it every three days. I'm sorry for those that want to sit on his throne, but this lad is the best.

Guardiola went on to compare Messi's significance in the football world with that of Michael Jordan's impact on basketball during the 1990s.

"You have few players who dominate like this, but he does it. You can compare him perfectly to Jordan," said Guardiola.

Team-mates added to the praise for the Argentinian, with defender Gerard Pique saying on fcbarcelona.com: "It's a pleasure to be in the same generation as him, I believe he's the best player in the history of the sport.

"It doesn't matter where he plays, if it's cold or hot, he always proves that he's the best."

Goalkeeper Victor Valdes added: "Messi will mark an era. He'll be the best ever."

The Spanish media were equally gushing about a player to which it seems there are no bounds.

"At 24 years of age it is impossible to know what his impact on football will be," daily El Pais wrote.

"At the moment he is the best in the world, and he aspires to be the best of all time."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Toure could leave Manchester City in the summer, claims his agent
transfers
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
News
media
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz