Lionel Messi equals Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick record with double in hat-trick as Barcelona beat Celta Vigo in LaLiga


Lionel Messi equals Cristiano Ronaldo free-kick record with double in hat-trick as Barcelona beat Celta Vigo in LaLiga

Lionel Messi was hailed by Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde after he equalled a Cristiano Ronaldo record in his side’s LaLiga win over Celta Vigo.

The Argentine superstar netter a hat-trick of goals from dead balls with two superb free-kicks following a penalty at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring against Celta Vigo
Getty Images – Getty

And those two strikes saw him level Ronaldo’s effort of 34 in the Spanish top-flight.

With the Portuguese now playing for Juventus in Italy, Messi needs just one more goal from a free-kick to claim the record for himself which, given his technique, you would suggest is fairly likely.

The hat-trick, in a 4-1 win, came at a vital time for Barcelona following a loss to Levante last weekend and a 0-0 draw in the Champions League against Slavia Prague in midweek.

A Lionel Messi free-kick sails into the back of the net
AFP OR LICENSORS

And his manager was quick to praise his hero after the victory, which puts them top – ahead of Real Madrid – on goal difference.

“With Leo, anything is possible,” Valverde said. “This [taking free-kicks] is something that he has mastered to perfection.