Lionel Messi praises Barcelona team-mates for match-winning performance against Atletico Madrid

The attacker remained as modest as ever despite hitting an impressive hat-trick on Saturday, preferring to shun the limelight and brand the five-star win a collective effort
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has applauded his colleagues for helping him record an emphatic hat-trick during his side's 5-0 win over Atletico Madrid in the Primera Division on Saturday.

The diminutive No.10 was in imperious form once more, with Gregorio Manzano's men being the unfortunate victims of his display, as he scored three of Barca's five goals on the night at Camp Nou. But Messi immediately put the focus on the rest of his team after the match.

"I must thank my colleagues," he told AS. "We have shown that when we play well, we enjoy our football.

"It was a difficult game as Atletico came and stood their ground well," he continued. "They possess a great team, and earned our respect from the first minute, but the goal put the game in our favour and we quickly took control."

Barcelona regained second place in the Primera Division standings with the win, but it may only be a temporary elevation as they await the result of Malaga's visit to Zaragoza on Sunday.