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Lionel Messi Scores a Hat Trick as Barcelona Win Their 16th Consecutive La Liga Match; Paying Tribute to the Legendary Record Breakers

One of the most brilliant players the world has ever seen
One of the most brilliant players the world has ever seen

The record has been broken. Lionel Messi scored all three goals, two in the first half and one in the second, as Barcelona brushed aside Atlético Madrid 3-0. It wasn't exactly the most spectacular of matches for Barcelona, but the three points were never in jeapordy. This was Barcelona's 16th consecutive victory in the league, which is an all-time La Liga record. The previous record belonged to the Real Madrid side of Puskas and Di Stefano, but that's now history. Sergio Busquets also beat the record for most consecutive La Liga victories with 22 (he missed both the Hercules and the Mallorca match this season). With his hat trick today, Messi has reached the 40-goal mark this season in only 33 matches and he's on the verge of completing the most brilliant individual season ever.

Let's now revist Barcelona's absolutely legendary run, which started on October 16 against Valencia at Camp Nou and is still going:

16 October 2010 - Barcelona 2-1 Valencia (Iniesta and Puyol)

23 October 2010 - Zaragoza 0-2 Barcelona (Messi x2)

30 October 2010 - Barcelona 5-0 Sevilla (Messi x2, Villa x2 and Daniel Alves)

7 November 2010 - Getafe 1-3 Barcelona (Messi, Villa and Pedro)

13 November 2010 - Barcelona 3-1 Villareal (Villa and Messi x2)

20 November 2010 - Almeria 0-8 Barcelona (Messi x3, Bojan x2, Pedro, Iniesta and an own goal)

29 November 2010 - Barcelona 5-0 Real Madrid (Xavi, Pedro, Villa x2 and Jeffren)

4 December 2010 - Osasuna 0-3 Barcelona (Pedro and Messi x2)

12 December 2010 - Barcelona 5-0 Real Sociedad (Villa, Iniesta, Messi x2 and Bojan)

18 December 2010 - Espanyol 1-5 Barcelona (Pedro x2, Xavi and Villa x2)

2 January 2011 - Barcelona 2-1 Levante (Pedro x2)

8 January 2011 - Deportivo 0-4 Barcelona (Villa, Messi, Iniesta and Pedro)

16 January 2011 - Barcelona 4-1 Malaga (Iniesta, Villa x2 and Pedro)

22 January 2011 - Barcelona 3-0 Racing (Pedro, Messi and Iniesta)

29 January 2011 - Hercules 0-3 Barcelona (Pedro and Messi x2)

5 February 2011 - Barcelona 3-0 Atlético Madrid (Messi 3x)

Goals Scored: 60 (3,75 per match) - 27 in the first halves, 33 in the second

Goals conceded: 6 (0,38 per match) - 2 in the first halves, 4 in the second

Home Record: 9 wins, 32-4 in goals

Away Record: 7 wins, 28-2

Scorers: Messi - 21 Villa - 12 Pedro - 12 Iniesta - 6 Bojan - 3 Xavi -2 Puyol - 1 Daniel Alves - 1 Jeffren - 1 Own Goal - 1

Most common results - 3-0 (4 times) and 5-0 (3 times)

So this is Barcelona's legendary run in numbers. But if you're a Barcelona supporter and you've been watching this team, you certainly know that the run is not over yet. Today, Pep Guardiola's Dream Team took another step towards "defining an era", but their hunger is insatiable. Next week at Gijon, they'll try to record their 17th straight win and they won't stop there.

Barcelona's goal is to win every competition in which they're involved this season. But even if they don't (it's not as easy as it looks), this is a team every culé should be proud of. The record they've just broken will stand for a long, long time! Besides, they did it by playing a brand of football that has made the world fall in love with this marvelous team.

At this point, one can only dream just how much more this team accomplish, but it is safe to assume that no record will be safe as long as Pep Guardiola's Dream Team is still around to shatter it!

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