Just the Facts: Focus on the failures of Lionel Messi

By July 03, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Messi hat-trick a good way to celebrate Ballon d'Or – Barca boss Valverde Messi hat-trick a good way to celebrate Ballon d'Or – Barca boss Valverde

    Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said Lionel Messi's record-breaking hat-trick was a "good way to celebrate the Ballon d'Or".

    After claiming his sixth Ballon d'Or earlier in the week, Messi's treble led LaLiga champions Barca to a 5-2 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday.

    Messi's Ballon d'Or triumph on Monday saw him move clear of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Barca captain broke the former Real Madrid superstar's record for the most hat-tricks in LaLiga history.

    After Messi's 35th league treble, Barca boss Valverde hailed the 32-year-old star post-game at Camp Nou.

    "Unbelievable," Valverde told reporters after Barca regained top spot ahead of rivals Real Madrid.

    "It was a good way to celebrate the Ballon d'Or."

    While Messi dominated headlines with his latest match-winning display, Barca team-mate Luis Suarez scored a stunning back-heel to round off a fluid passing move against Mallorca.

    On Suarez's 43rd-minute goal, Valverde added: "The situation took me by surprise. I thought it was a pass to a team-mate.

    "It surprised me, but it was an extraordinary goal. I told him that there had been a few easier chances and this one, which was improbable, went in."

  • Messi overtakes Ronaldo with most LaLiga hat-tricks Messi overtakes Ronaldo with most LaLiga hat-tricks

    Lionel Messi has claimed Cristiano Ronaldo's record for the most hat-tricks in LaLiga history after scoring another treble in Barcelona's 5-2 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday.

    In the week he moved above rival Ronaldo with a sixth Ballon d'Or success, Messi showed why he was voted the world's best player with his impressive display at Camp Nou.

    The 32-year-old scored two long-range goals in the first half and added a third seven minutes from time to make it 35 career hat-tricks in the Spanish top-flight.

    That is one more than Ronaldo, who spent nine years with Real Madrid before joining Serie A giants Juventus in 2018.

    Messi's first strike also saw him become the only player to net 10 or more goals in each of the past 14 seasons across Europe's top-five leagues.

    Victory moved Barca back to the top of the table, with the champions above Madrid on goal difference ahead of the first Clasico of the season later this month.

  • Barcelona 5-2 Real Mallorca: Messi scores hat-trick as champions regain top spot Barcelona 5-2 Real Mallorca: Messi scores hat-trick as champions regain top spot

    Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in the week he was crowned the world's best player as Barcelona eased to a 5-2 home win over Real Mallorca and reclaimed top spot in LaLiga.

    Antoine Griezmann gave Barca a seventh-minute lead and Messi then took over with a couple of goals, either side of Ante Budimir's strike against the run of play.

    On a day when the home side's front three clicked into gear, Luis Suarez added a fourth before the end of the first half with a sublime back-heel to round off a fluid passing move.

    Budimir pulled another back for Mallorca 26 minutes from time, but Messi rounded off his hat-trick late on as Barca maintained their good form and overtook Real Madrid at the summit.

    Marc-Andre ter Stegen claimed a second assist of the season with a quick goal-kick that Griezmann collected and lifted over Manolo Reina after racing through on goal.

    Reina produced an impressive save to keep out the returning Sergio Busquets' header, but Messi found a way past the visiting keeper 95 seconds later with a 25-yard curler.

    Mallorca, now winless in seven away league outings this season, gave themselves hope when Budimir's shot deflected off Clement Lenglet and looped over Ter Stegen.

    But Messi took matters into his own hands with another trademark goal from range, before Suarez capped a fine piece of team play by back-heeling in from eight yards.

    Reina frustrated Ernesto Valverde's men with a string of saves and Budimir then headed in from close range to once again give Mallorca a foothold on the game.

    Barca made certain of a sixth win in a row in all competitions thanks to Messi's third of the match late on, the forward picking out the roof of the net after being teed up by Suarez to move onto 35 LaLiga hat-tricks in his career – one more than Cristiano Ronaldo.

     

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