LIONEL MESSI marked his 300th appearance for Barcelona at the weekend by scoring the 31st hat-trick of his career against Levante.
The Argentine’s incredible treble has taken his goal tally to 37 goals in 33 matches in all competitions and continues Barcelona’s unbeaten 11-game run to keep the pressure on bitter rivals Real Madrid, who are just one point ahead at the top of La Liga.
At the age of just 27, Messi’s recent run of good form has increased his all-time record of goals in La Liga to 269.
Barcelona put five unanswered goals past Levante on Sunday. Brazilian Neymar opened the scoring and it wasn’t long before Messi got himself on the score sheet and then doubled his tally just before 60 minutes with a simple tap in. A penalty gave Messi his fifth hat-trick of the season so far, before Luis Suarez made it five with a spectacular volley for just his fourth La Liga goal.