There’s no football at the moment which gives us the perfect opportunity to look back to this day last year when Lionel Messi scored a brilliant hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Real Betis at the Benito Villamarin.
It’s a game that will live long in the memory due to Messi’s utter brilliance and the way the home fans stood up and gave him a standing ovation when his third goal flew past goalkeeper Pau Lopez.
Astonishing sight. After Lionel Messi nets a hat trick and eviscerates their own team, Real Betis fans give him a standing ovation. Messi’s brilliance transcends supporter divides. A divine figure who walks amongst us https://t.co/uTEUzwRiIr— roger bennett (@rogbennett) March 17, 2019
Messi’s first goal came after 18 minutes when he put a free-kick into the top corner, and his second arrived in first-half stoppage time after a brilliant backheel from Luis Suarez.
Yet it was the GOAT’s third goal that really took the breath away when he casually side-footed a first-time finish over Lopez and into the net from just inside the box. Stunning.
Messi could have had a fourth too but was denied by the woodwork late on.
All of which gives us the perfect example to see those goals again:
The goals secured Messi his 45th Barcelona hat-trick and sent the club 10 points clear at the top of the table in Spain with 10 games left to play. It was also his 477th win in a Barcelona shirt, surpassing Xavi’s record.
Messi was typically humble after the match as he thanked supporters for the ovation
“To be honest no, I don’t remember the opposition fans giving me an ovation for a goal. I’m very grateful for the response from the fans.
“We’re always treated very well when we come to this stadium. I’m very grateful and happy for the win, which was very important.”
What a game, what a hat-trick, what a player.