Lionel Messi has become the first player in Europe's top five leagues to score 50 goals this season after netting twice against Villarreal.
50 - Lionel Messi is the first player from the Top 5 European Leagues to reach 50 goals this season in all competitions. Crucial. pic.twitter.com/cn4e8EvNtn— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 6, 2017
He subsequently scored from the penalty spot to make it 4-1 in the second half for Barca, taking his tally for the season to 51 goals.
It is the fifth time in the last 10 seasons that the Argentine has surpassed 50 goals in all competitions, having set a personal best in 2011-12 when he netted an astonishing 73 goals in 60 appearances.
As well as his brace, Messi was involved in another landmark during the game, following up Neymar's opener to help the Barcelona frontline of Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar topple the 100-goal mark this season.
Neymar, who opened the scoring, has scored 16 times for Barcelona this season, while Suarez - with his latest effort to make it 3-1 at Camp Nou - contributed 35 goals to help the trio reach 102 goals between them.
With just two weeks left in the current La Liga campaign, Barcelona and Real Madrid are battling it out for the title, where Madrid have a game in hand in an extremely tight title race.