Lionel Messi ended a four-game goal drought in devastating fashion with a four-goal haul as he became the first footballer in history to reach 1,000 goal involvements as Barcelona thrashed Eibar 5-0 in LaLiga on Saturday.
The Argentine great scored a 26-minute first-half hat-trick and added a fourth in the second-half from an assist by substitute Martin Braithwaite on his debut.
Brazilian Arthur added a late fifth to extend Barca’s winning streak in LaLiga to four games and send them two points clear of Real Madrid who face Levante later.
Messi had failed to score in his last four games and saw his form come under scrutiny even though he’d assisted most of Barca’s goals during that spell.
His increasingly public pronouncements on Barca’s issues also saw speculation swirl around his future but all that was cast aside as he let his football do the talking as he’d often done throughout his career.
His four goals saw him over take longtime rival Cristiano Ronaldo as the players with the most hat-tricks with 48.
He also extended his lead at the top of the LaLiga goalscorers chart to 18 and he’s also weighed in with 12 assists.
He also became the first ever player to have 1,000 career goal contributions having scored 696 goals and racked up 306 assists in 853 career appearances.