The Argentine legend finds himself in the company of the Bundesliga stars as leading performers in Europe following the hat-trick of Primera Division assists against Real Betis.
Lionel Messi set up both of Barcelona’s first half goals in a thrilling opening period of the match against Real Betis, becoming only the second player to reach double figures in goals and assists in Europe’s top five leagues this year.
His third assist in the 3-2 victory saw him become only the second player, after RB Leipzig’s Timo Werner, to have listed a hat-trick and a trio of assists in a match this season.
Messi currently has 14 goals and 11 assists for the Blaugrana this season, with the only other player in double figures in both categories being Borussia Dortmund phenom Jadon Sancho. The 19-year-old England worldwide has 12 goals and 13 assists in the Bundesliga this season.
The Argentina international setup Frenkie de Jong with a pinpoint chipped pass over the Betis defence to equalise after Betis had taken the lead through a Sergio Canales penalty.
The Seville team took the lead and appeared certain to go into the break 2-1 ahead before Messi’s free kick set up a rare Sergio Busquets goal.
This proved to be the last and decisive goal, as the Catalans kept the pressure on Real Madrid near the top of the table.
Since bagging 10 goals and procuring 14 assists in a Primera Division period for the first time in the 2007-08 season, the 32-year-old has just failed to tally double figures in both groups once, in the 2016-17 season.
He found the back of the net 37 times in the league that year, but fell one short in the aids tally, with nine.
Sancho was just eight years old when Messi first did the double but has an impressive record of his own.
The prior Manchester City guy is only in his second season as an automatic starter in Germany and continues to be prolific in both of these.
Messi wasn’t the only person to set personal records in Sunday’s game.
Real Betis’s France global Nabil Fekir scored his team’s second goal with a rasping shot from just outside the region after a bad giveaway by Arturo Vidal.
In doing this the prior Liverpool goal became the first person to score in each of his first two La Liga matches against Barcelona, based on Opta.