Messi messes up Germans

As if any further evidence were needed, Lionel Messi underlined his status as the world’s best player with a Champions League record 5 goals for Barcelona against Bayer Leverkusen.

In an embarrassingly one-sided tie at the Nou Camp, Barcelona won 7-1, with Messi on mesmerising form, seemingly scoring at will. He waited 25 minutes to open his account, scoring with a delicate scoop over the German goalkeeper.

Better goals were to follow, with the pick of his handful being the third goal, a precision right-foot reverse chip into the far corner, just after half-time. His team-mates were grinning with delight at Messi’s genius.

The Champions League is a competition that Messi loves. He has scored 12 times in 7 appearances this season, and has claimed 30 goals in his last 25 games for Barcelona in Europe.

His manager is running out of superlatives to describe the Argentinian. "Find your own, he's the best," Pep Guardiola said. "There is no other like him. The numbers speak for themselves. One day he'll score 6."

Messi’s performance inevitably overshadowed the impressive Champions League debut of the 20 year-old local boy Cristian Tello as a substitute. Within 2 minutes of his introduction, he had scored. He added a second a little later, and should have had a third.

Despite Barcelona trailing Real Madrid in the Spanish League, few would question their status as the world’s best team. Lionel Messi is only 24. For the next decade, those record books are going to need updating on a regular basis.

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