Lionel Messi has done it again.
Three days after becoming the all-time leading goal scorer in Spain’s La Liga (first division), Messi claimed the same crown in the UEFA Champions League.
Messi scored a hat trick in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over Apoel Nicosia on Tuesday, taking his career goals tally in European soccer’s elite competition to 74. Messi and Raul were tied on 71 goals coming into Tuesday’s game, but Barcelona hero passed the Real Madrid legend and now stands alone.
Messi struck gold in the 38th minute when he deflected Rafinha’s shot past goalkeeper Urko Pardo.
Messi added goals in the 58th and 87th minutes, scoring both with his right foot.
Messi needed 91 games to break a record that Raul set in 142 outings.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo can pass Raul with two more Champions League goals. Ronaldo’s pursuit of the record could be endless or stop-start, as Messi will keep on scoring.
Thumbnail photo by Petros Karadjias/Associated Press