MADRID: Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick to emphatically break La Liga’s all-time scoring mark in Barcelona’s 5-1 win over Sevilla on Saturday.

Messi, already Barcelona’s all-time scorer, surpassed Athletic Bilbao great Telmo Zarra’s milestone of 251 goals that had stood untouched since 1955.

Messi, 27, moved level with legendary Basque striker Telmo Zarra when he opened the scoring with a trademark free-kick to register his 251st goal in his 289th appearance in the Spanish top flight.

A Jordi Alba own goal briefly brought Sevilla level early in the second-half, but Neymar swiftly restored Barca’s advantage before Ivan Rakitic made the game safe when he headed home Luis Suarez’s enticing cross against his old club.

Messi then took over as he slid in to convert Neymar’s low cross to set the new record and extended it moments later with a precise low finish to round off a fine evening for Luis Enrique’s men who remain two points adrift of league leaders Real Madrid.

“When I scored this goal, I couldn’t imagine I could break any record, let alone this one previously held by the great Telmo Zarra,” wrote Messi on his Facebook page alongside his first Barca goal against Albacete in May, 2005.

“I was only able to achieve this because of the support I have had from so many people during my time here and I would like to dedicate this achievement to you all.”.. see more

source: dawn