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Hat-trick hero Tello hails 'spectacular' Messi

The Spanish winger scored three goals for Barcelona in the 4-1 win over Levante, but was quick to praise his teammate, who notched three assists in his 400th club appearance.

Barcelona winger Cristian Tello hailed teammate Lionel Messi as "spectacular" after the Argentine set up his hat trick in Wednesday's win over Levante.

Tello notched his first three-goal performance for the Blaugrana as they came from behind to win 4-1 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey quarterfinal.

Messi notched three assists in one game for the first time for Barcelona as he made his 400th appearance for the club, and Tello thanked the Argentine for making his task in front of goal all the easier.

"I'm very happy with the three goals, but above all the victory," he was quoted as saying by Sport. "The truth is I have to give thanks to Messi for leaving me with just the goalkeeper to beat. It's spectacular to have a player like that.

"The team went out well in the first half but the goal affected us. The chances came, only the finishing was lacking. In the second half we took them. It wasn't an easy game, the boss gave us confidence. I work hard every day to continue getting chances and to improve."

The second leg takes place at Camp Nou next week.

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