Lionel Messi cemented his place as the greatest goalscorer in Champions League history in typically emphatic fashion by grabbing a hat-trick as Barcelona won 4-0 at APOEL on Tuesday.
Messi’s first, a close-range effort in the 38th-minute, saw him break the record held by former Real Madrid and Schalke star Raul as he claimed his 72nd goal in Europe’s elite club competition. It also took him two ahead of long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
He followed it up with two more in the second half: the first a clever chip over the advancing goalkeeper after a nice through ball from Dani Alves; the second a tap-in after Pedro had cut the ball back.
The 27-year-old has accumulated his haul in 91 games for Barcelona in the Champions League, while Ronaldo has scored his 70 in 106 matches. Raul needed 142 appearances to reach 71 strikes.
Ronaldo is in action for Madrid at Basel on Wednesday.
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