Lionel Messi continues making strides in his quest to become the greatest soccer player of all time…
The 24-year-old Argentinean soccer star—who recently won the FIFA’s Ballon d’Or for the third consecutive year—broke Cesár Rodríguez‘s career goals record for Barcelona, scoring his eighth hat trick of the season in Tuesday night’s 5-3 Spanish league win over Granada to increase his total to 234.
Messi, who made his Barcelona debut in 2004, tied Rodríguez’s record on a left-footed shot in the 17th minute for his 232nd goal, then chipped the goalkeeper for a 3-2 lead in the 67th. He added a goal from a tight angle in the 86th, increasing his season total to a career-best 54.
Late Monday, Barcelona announced Rodríguez’s total from 1942-55 was three fewer than the team had previously reported. A review by Barcelona’s Center of Documentation and Studies and the La Vanguardia newspaper determined he did not score goals attributed to him during the 1947-48, 1948-49, 1949-50 and 1952-53 seasons and also credited him with an additional goal in 1945-46.
Messi has scored in seven straight games, totaling 17 goals. He leads La Liga with 34 goals, two ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
The hat trick was Messi’s 18th for Barcelona. His six goals in La Liga tie the season record set by Ronaldo last year.
Only a few weeks ago Messi scored five goals in one game.