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Messi hat-trick a good way to celebrate sixth Ballon d'Or – Valverde

7:52 PM EST 12/7/19
Lionel Messi Barcelona 2019-20
The Argentine was in top form to lead his side to victory just days after claiming a record sixth award

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said Lionel Messi's record-breaking hat-trick was a "good way to celebrate the Ballon d'Or".

After claiming his sixth Ballon d'Or earlier in the week, Messi's treble led La Liga champions Barca to a 5-2 win over Real Mallorca on Saturday.

The Blaugrana captain paraded the trophy on the Camp Nou pitch prior to the match with his three sons, and went on to give a stunning demonstration of why he was worthy of the honour by dismantling Mallorca over 90 minutes.

Messi's Ballon d'Or triumph on Monday saw him move clear of Cristiano Ronaldo, and the Barca captain broke the former Real Madrid superstar's record for the most hat-tricks in La Liga history.

After Messi's 35th league treble, Barca boss Valverde hailed the 32-year-old star post-game at Camp Nou.

"Unbelievable," Valverde told reporters after Barca regained top spot ahead of rivals Real Madrid.

"It was a good way to celebrate the Ballon d'Or."

While Messi dominated headlines with his latest match-winning display, Barca team-mate Luis Suarez scored a stunning back-heel to round off a fluid passing move against Mallorca.

Antoine Griezmann also got in on the act with his side's opener, meaning each member of the MSG strikeforce was able to celebrate.

On Suarez's 43rd-minute goal, Valverde added: "The situation took me by surprise. I thought it was a pass to a team-mate.

"It surprised me, but it was an extraordinary goal. I told him that there had been a few easier chances and this one, which was improbable, went in."

The Argentine's hat-trick took him to 12 goals this season in La Liga, leapfrogging nearest Pichichi challenger Karim Benzema as the season's top scorer. 

Those strikes, moreover, have come in just nine starts, with Messi missing several fixtures for his club at the start of the season due to injury.