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Messi scores hat-trick to break Barça goal-scoring record
ThinkSpain , Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to become Barcelona's all-time leading scorer and keep the defending champions in the title chase with a 5-3 win over Granada on Tuesday night.

Less than a fortnight after scoring a record-breaking five times in the Champions League, the three-time world player of the year took his career club tally to 234 goals, beating a 57-year-old milestone held by César Rodríguez by two goals.

Barça ended the first half 2-0 up, only to see Granada, come back with two quick goals after half-time.  24-year-old Messi, who is now in his eighth season with Barcelona, then scored twice more to secure the win and to reduce Real Madrid's advantage to five points ahead of their game at Villarreal on Wednesday night.

The Argentine is also now the top-scorer in La Liga this season with 34 goals from 27 games, two ahead of Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo. Atlético Madrid's Falcao is third with 17 goals.

Ernest Macia, of public Radio Catalunya, said it was a "historic evening" in Barcelona. "Messi is exceptional, there will not be another player like him," said Macia. "In Barcelona, people are used to successes of the team and of Messi but many people will remember tonight".

In the other Primera Liga match on Tuesday night, Osasuna and Getafe played out a goalless draw at the Reyno de Navarra Stadium in Pamplona.

Osasuna remain sixth on 40 points, a point behind fourth placed Levante, while Getafe sit four points behind in 11th.

Osasuna 0 Getafe 0
Barcelona 5 Granada 3

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