Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has scored a hat-trick against Levante, his 23rd in Spain's Primera Liga. Messi's amazing feat matches that of rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
23 - Lionel Messi has equalled Cristiano Ronaldo as the player to have scored the most hat-tricks in La Liga history. Voraciousness
Barcelona coach Luis Enrique says the thought of having a team without Lionel Messi is "not even something we contemplate".
The future of the Argentina forward as been the subject of much speculation recently, following reports that he had fallen out with Enrique.
Messi has been linked with a move to Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City and leaders Chelsea, but Enrique does not want to see the four-time former world player of the year leave the Nou Camp.
I don't know what the future holds for us. We all think that Messi will be at Barca in the next few years and that is what all the cules (Barca fans) want.
The thought of having a team without Messi is not even something we contemplate.
Sergio Busquets has reassured Barcelona fans that Lionel Messi has no intentions of leaving the club.
Busquets spoke out following reports which suggested the Argentinian had fallen out with manager Luis Enrique.
"He controls his future and he has said he has no intention of leaving - and that's very important for us," the Catalan told Barcelona's website.
"All he was saying yesterday was the typical cliche that you never know what might happen in the future.
"People usually only know what they are told by the press but I think everyone has now had a chance to speak. We just want to be united, to be as one, and for the fans to be behind us."
Chelsea have held discussions with Lionel Messi's father according to Catalan radio station RAC1.
Reports suggest that club officials have been in contact with Jorge Horacio Messi to work out whether a deal for his son to join the Blues next season can be agreed.
Roman Abramovich is said to be willing to part with £200m for the Argentine superstar, who missed Barcelona training on Monday as rumours of unrest at the Spanish club gather pace.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has refused to elaborate on rumours of unrest at the club and a fractious relationship with Lionel Messi.
Star man Messi is said to have skipped training on Monday after being left out of Sunday's defeat at Sociedad and growing tired of Enrique's methods.
Reports this week have seen the superstar linked with Chelsea, while others have suggested that Enrique has been given an ultimatum by the club's board.
I don't want to comment [on Messi]. We know things change and a month is a long time. Things have changed but it is up to you to speak to parties involved. I am as happy as ever here, happier even.
At the moment it just seems to be negative vibes, nothing positive. I don't think I should be asked to confirm any or deny any of these rumours.
It would stir up more problems than it would solve. Things are going to happen during the season and it is up to us to sort it out.
Senior members of Barcelona's squad met with Lionel Messi on Wednesday to discuss the Argentine's dissatisfaction with coach Luis EnriqueRead the full story ›
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi would not score as many goals in Italy's Serie A, according to Juventus striker Fernando Llorente.
The Real Madrid and Barcelona superstars have already notched a combined 36 goals this season, Ronaldo tucking away 23, in a league widely considered the finest in world football.
But Spanish striker Llorente, who joined Juventus in 2013 following nine years in Spain with Bilbao, told Cope:
"Messi and Ronaldo are players from another planet, but I'd like to see them in Italy.
"The defences are very tight here, with many players put behind the ball, so it would be more difficult for them to score goals."
Cristiano Ronaldo and Leo Messi have been joined on the Fifa Ballon D'Or shortlist by Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer.
Spanish side Valencia say they will ban the fan who hit Leo Messi with a bottle during their match with Barcelona on Sunday.
The Argentine forward was struck when celebrating Sergio Busquets' last-minute winner over Valencia at their Mestalla stadium.
"Valencia CF regret and condemn the isolated incident in the game against FC Barcelona, in which a small, uncapped bottle of water was thrown from the stands at opposition player Lionel Messi," Valencia said on their website.
"The club will endeavour to locate the person who threw the bottle and they will be banned for life from the Mestalla.
"Valencia CF operate a zero tolerance policy on such actions and rigorously enforce all security measures set out by legislation."
Watch the moment a bottle struck Lionel Messi on the head shortly at the end of Barcelona's 1-0 win against Valencia.Read the full story ›