Lionel Messi Scores Four To Set La Liga Record, Is Barcelona Star Best Player In The World?

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Jan 28, 2013 08:43 AM EST
Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (R) eludes Osasuna's Raoul Loe during their Spanish First division soccer league match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, January 27, 2013.(Photo : Reuters) "

Lionel Messi scored four goals to set a new La Liga mark, the Barcelona star could be the best player in the world.

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Lionel Messi is arguably the best football player in the world and he proved why once again on Sunday night, becoming the youngest player in La Liga history to score 200 goals.

According to ESPN.com, Messi scored four goals in a 5-1 rout of Osasuna on Sunday night to pass 200-career goals in Spanish league play. It was his 22nd career hat trick for Barcelona and fifth game of four goals or more, leaving him at a total of 202 goals in La Liga play.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, Messi is the youngest player in La Liga history to reach 200 goals and the eight all-time, with Telmo Zarra (251), Hugo Sanchez (234), Raul Gonzalez (228), Alfredo di Stefano (227), Cesar Rodriguez (223), Quini (219) and Pahino (210).

The 25-year-old star has scored 44 goals this season, including 33 in La Liga. In other action, Christiano Ronaldo put together his 20th career hat trick by scoring three goals in 11 minutes to lead Real Madrid over Getafe 4-0.

In the standings, Barcelona is 19-1-1 with an 11-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid, who is15-3-2. Real Madrid is 13-4-4  and trails Barcelona by 15 points. Through 20 games this season, Messi has 29 goals and eight assists on 104 shots.

According to ESPN.com, Messi is four years younger than Telmo Zarra was when he scored his 200th goal for Athletic Bilbao in 1951 and is took Messi 235 games to get to his mark, 15 fewer than the previous second-best, Alfredo di Stefano with 250 matches.

Messi's first goal came after an interception on a pass from goalkeeper Andres Fernandez by Xavi Hernandez, who pushed the ball to Messi to score, giving him a goal in each of his last 16 starts. The second goal came on a penalty kick, while David Villa assisted on the next two goals, including a back pass for the fourth score.

It continues an amazing run for Messi in which he has won a number of awards, including his fourth FIFA Ballon d'Or Trophy. He became the first player to win the FIFA Player of the Year award four times after setting the world record with 91 goals last year while playing for Argentina and Barcelona.

"To tell the truth, this is really unbelievable to get the fourth award. I am so nervous," Messi said in Spanish after winning the award.

Messi beat out Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta for the FIFA award and set the record after breaking Gerd Mueller's mark of 85 for Bayern Munich and Germany in 1972.

Messi was also named best La Liga player last season after scoring 50 goals, the most ever by a player in league play. He won the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award for the 2010-11 season and set a world record with 73 goals during the 2011-12 season.

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