Lionel Messi created three goals and scored another as Barcelona warmed up for their Champions League showdown with Arsenal by thrashing Getafe 6-0 at the Nou Camp to equal a club record 12 consecutive La Liga wins.
The Argentinian missed a fourth penalty of the season after Juan Rodriguez's own goal had given the Catalans the lead after just eight minutes, but soon made amends by laying on goals for Munir El Haddadi and Neymar before he got on the scoresheet himself with a brilliant strike from 20 yards.
Messi got his third assist by teeing up Neymar's second after the break and then Arda Turan scored for the second time in three matches with an impressive bicycle kick.
Local officials say they have got passports for the young football fan and his family so they can meet Lionel Messi in person.Read the full story ›
A young Afghan boy who was photographed wearing a makeshift football shirt made out of a plastic bag has now received a the real thing.Read the full story ›
Lionel Messi has powered past another phenomenal achievement after scoring his 300th and 301st La Liga goals for Barcelona.
The five times Ballon d'Or winner took just 25 minutes to find the target against Sporting Gijon on Wednesday, and doubled his tally for the match in the 31st minute – moments after Gijon had equalised through Carlos Castro.
Messi has now scored 301 league goals in 334 matches, taking his tally in all competitions for Barcelona to 437. In doing so, the Argentina international also notched the 10,000th goal in Barcelona's history.
Lionel Messi has been named Spain's La Liga player of the month for January - the first time he has ever won the award.
La Liga player of the month has been given out since the beginning of the 2013-14 Primera Division season, but the five-time FIFA Ballon d'Or winner had not won it until now.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner finally won the award at the 23rd time of asking after scoring six goals in as many league games in January.
The 28-year-old struck a hat-trick against Granada as well as scoring in victories over Athletic Bilbao, Malaga and Atletico Madrid to take his total of league goals for the season to 12.
Messi is only the second Barcelona player to win the award following Neymar's success in November.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the award twice since it began in September 2013.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi is hoping to arrange a meeting with the young Afghan boy whose plastic bag 'shirt' went viral.Read the full story ›
A young boy who was photographed wearing a makeshift Lionel Messi shirt made out of a carrier bag has been found in Afghanistan.Read the full story ›
Five things you may not know about the record-breaking Barcelona and Argentina playmakerRead the full story ›
Lionel Messi has won Fifa's Ballon d'Or award for a record fifth time.Read the full story ›
River Plate president Rodolfo D'Onofrio has condemned the actions of supporters who allegedly abused Barcelona forward Lionel Messi at the airport following Sunday's Fifa Club World Cup final in Japan.
According to media reports, Messi was spat at and insulted by some River fans as the Barcelona squad prepared to fly home following their 3-0 victory over the Argentinian side.
Messi, the Argentina captain, scored the opening goal in the match as Barca lifted their third Club World Cup crown.
In quotes reported by AS, River president D'Onofrio told Fox Sports:
There's always some idiot, to put it mildly. I've just read that Messi had problems in the airport with some fan. Messi is the best player of Argentinian football, he's a gentleman... when he scored the goal he raised his hands apologising.
He congratulated the club for having got where we did, and he told me that when he was a youngster he was on the verge of becoming a River player. So I applaud him. You need to know how to lose and when to recognise the other team were better.