Lionel Messi Scores Unbelievable Free-Kick Against Real Betis

Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their fourth goal to complete his hat-trick. Marcelo del Pozo Reuters

"I don't remember being applauded by rival fans for a goal before", he told Movistar. I'm very grateful for the response from the fans. Whenever we come to this stadium they treat us very well, very grateful and happy for the victory, which was very important.

One wrote: "After all Messi's goals, we identify with the expression of Pau Lopez".

'It was a very good chance to increase our distance at the top, we knew about Atletico's result and we couldn't afford to not take it, ' he said. Worse things have happened before. We have to keep playing like we have been without giving anything away'.

During the week Messi scored twice and provided two assists as Lyon were routed 5-1 at Camp Nou in the Champions League.

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A place in the Copa del Rey final against Valencia is already secured and, with a 10-point cushion from Atletico, Barca are virtually certain to defend their LaLiga crown.

Moments later he put an even better chance wide of the far post when he was bearing down on goal with only the keeper to beat and no defenders in sight, but it proved to be third time lucky as the former Liverpool man finally scored with his third gilt-edged opportunity in as many minutes. Despite the opposition being on the receiving end, we are all enjoying this era of his, which is unequalled.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admitted the brilliance of Lionel Messi transcends club rivalries after the Argentina superstar received a standing ovation from Real Betis fans.

The goal came from arguably his most hard chance of the lot too as he dribbled his way through three Betis defenders, leaving them in a heap behind him before slotting his finish into the bottom corner.

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