- Lionel Messi scored three goals in 17 minutes on Sunday.
- If that was not enough, he also provided two assists as FC Barcelona beat Levante 5-0.
- He has enjoyed exceptional form all season but his most recent outing is one of the best of the lot, as he treated the Ciutat de Valencia crowd to a 90-minute period of pure artistry.
- Read all of Business Insider’s coverage for the 2018-2019 European Soccer season here.
Lionel Messi scored three goals in 17 minutes, provided two assists, and played a key role in every goal FC Barcelona scored as his team put Levante to the sword on Sunday.
Since getting ranked the 5th best player in world soccer at the annual Ballon d’Or, Messi has been a marksman on a mission. He has shown telepathic passing and scored gorgeous goals in recent games, but his most recent outing is the best of the lot as he treated the Levante crowd at the Ciutat de Valancia to a 90-minute period of pure artistry.
Messi’s night began in the 35th minute when he duped three Levante players into tracking him aimlessly across the penalty box, before lazering a pass over their heads for teammate Luis Suarez. From there, Suarez scored – 1-0.
Eight minutes later Messi went from goal creator to goalscorer when he ran from the halfway line, into a through ball, and beat the goalkeeper one-on-one to double Barça’s lead.
It did not take long after half-time for Barcelona to restore their dominance as Messi pumped a low left-footed shot into the bottom right of the net – a sublime finish to make it 3-0.
Barcelona’s next goal was the best of the lot as Suarez nutmegged the Levante defender Erick Cabaco, dribbled into the box, and gracefully sent a trivela pass across goal to Arturo Vidal. Messi timed his own run into the middle of the goal to perfection, as Vidal fed him with a one-touch pass on the six-yard line. Though Messi’s finish was straight-forward, it capped an incredible team move.
But the night was not finished yet.
Three minutes before full-time, Messi – with his hat-trick complete – provided the game’s final goal when he supplied Gerard Pique with Barcelona’s fifth.
He was the best player on the pitch according to soccer statistics website Whoscored.com but on nights like this he proves he is more, he proves he is the best in the world.