The brilliant Argentine smashed more records on Wednesday as he hit five in the 7-1 Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen at Camp Nou. Goal.com examines his superb statsANALYSIS
By Ben Hayward | Spanish Football Editor
The legend continues. Lionel Messi's five goals in Barcelona's 7-1 rout of Bayer Leverkusen on Wednesday night saw the Argentine seal a place in the last eight of the Champions League for the Catalan club - and he rewrote the record books in the process.
Messi opened the scoring with a deft chip, cut in from the right to slot home a fine second, added the third with a delightful right-footed lob, slid home a fourth from a tight angle and curled in an impressive fifth as Pep Guardiola's side ran riot.
And as he closes in on his most prolific-ever season both for Barca and in the continental competition, Goal.com takes a look at a selection of Messi's astonishing numbers and records.
3 - Messi has now scored three hat-tricks in the Champions League, equalling a record held by Filippo Inzaghi. Only three Barcelona players (Rivaldo, Ronaldinho and Samuel Eto'o) had previously hit hat-tricks in the continental competition. He also became the first player to score two hat-tricks in one season in the Champions League.
3 - The Argentine won his third Ballon d'Or trophy earlier this year to draw level with previous three-time winners Michel Platini, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten. And he's still just 24.
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5 - The Argentine is the first player in Champions League history to score five goals in a single match, the first in European Cup football since Ajax's Soren Lerby in 1979 and the first Barcelona player to net five since Zaldua in 1965.
6 - The Rosario-born forward has netted in six different competitions for Barca this season; La Liga, the Copa del Rey, the Spanish Supercopa, the Uefa Super Cup, the Club World Cup and the Champions League; to equal the feat set by team-mate Pedro in 2009.
10 - Goal.com's Player Rating for the Argentine after his stunning show against Leverkusen: A perfect 10.
12 - Messi has now taken his tally to 12 goals in Europe this term, equalling his own total from 2010-11 and drawing level with Ruud van Nistelrooy's 2002-03 record for the most number of goals in a single edition of the Champions League. And he now has up to five more games to set a new record.
18 - Since making his debut at the Catalan club in 2005, Messi has won 18 trophies with the Camp Nou outfit.
22 - Following his hat-trick against Switzerland last week, Messi now has 22 goals for Argentina in 67 games. Diego Maradona, incidentally, netted 34 in 91 internationals for the Albiceleste.
24 - In the first leg at Leverkusen, Messi's goal saw him become the record scorer in Champions League knockout games with 19. Last night's five strikes saw that mark rise to 24.
Scoring for fun | Messi hit four against Valencia earlier this season
49 - The Argentine raised his Champions League tally to 49, surpassing Alessandro Del Piero (44), Filippo Inzaghi (46), Eusebio (47), Andriy Shevchenko (48) in the all-time list of scorers for the CL and European Cup. His five goals also saw him draw level with Real Madrid legend Alfredo Di Stefano in joint-fourth place, behind only Thierry Henry (51), Van Nistelrooy (54) and Raul (71).
53 - Messi's season-best total for Barcelona is the 53 he netted last season to tie with Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in all competitions. He also has 53 goals for club and country so far this term, 48 of them for Barcelona with a potential 19 club games still to play.
93 - The Argentine has 93 assists for the Catalan club, including 73 in the last four seasons and 20 already this term.
188 - Since Pep Guardiola took over as coach at Barca, Messi has netted an incredible 188 goals in 201 official matches.
228 - In total, the Argentine now has 228 goals for the Catalan club, leaving him just seven short of the all-time Barca record of 235, held by Cesar Rodriguez.
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