Messi needs just one more hat trick to met up with Ronaldo’s La Liga’s record of 34 hat tricks

The Argentine striker opened the scoring with a free-kick before notching twice more from close range

Lionel Messi needs just one more hat-trick to equal Cristiano Ronaldo’s La Liga record of 34 after scoring three times for Barcelona against Real Betis on Sunday.

The Catalan giants cruised to a 4-1 victory at Benito Villamarin Stadium, with Luis Suarez notching Barca’s other goal to equal Diego Forlan as the joint-highest Uruguayan in La Liga history.

Messi slammed home a 25th-minute free-kick to claim a 1-0 lead before firing in two clinical finishes from close range, including a delightful chip over Betis goalkeeper Pau Lopez for his third, to round off a stunning performance and bag his 33rd hat-trick in the Spanish top flight.

And it is surely now only a matter of time before Messi draws level with his Portuguese rival in the La Liga hat-trick count after Ronaldo moved to Serie A champions Juventus last summer.

Barca now have a 10-point lead over Atletico Madrid and a 12-point lead over Real, and their talisman Messi has played a considerable role in their dominant title defence.

The Argentina international has now scored 29 league goals – more than anyone else in Europe’s top five leagues this term.

18 Comments on “Messi needs just one more hat trick to met up with Ronaldo’s La Liga’s record of 34 hat tricks”

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