Lionel Messi is both a boy amongst men and a man amongst boys. He’s the size of a big seventh grader with a haircut to match. But he also runs circles around the world’s best players, scoring at will and racking up assists like Wayne Gretzky. On Tuesday, he scored a hat trick against Celtic to give him six Champions League hat tricks, breaking Cristiano Ronaldo’s record of five.
For most pros, getting a hat trick marks a career milestone. For Messi, it’s just another day at the office. Let’s break down his hat trick against Celtic.
Leo wallops the ball near-post with that deadly left foot of his. He’s got more finesse than a cat burglar but sometimes you just gotta smash it home.
Neymar and Messi have the same barber but that’s not the only thing they share. They’re telepathically linked. How else do you explain those back-to-back 1-2s that end with Messi walking the ball into the net? Watch the two towheads carve up Celtic’s defense like a Thanksgiving turkey.
This goal starts with Suarez intercepting a lazy pass at midfield, deftly one-touching it back to a waiting teammate and sprinting 60 yards downfield. Messi gets the ball and plays it in stride to a streaking Suarez, who crosses it along the six yard box for Messi to slide tackle into the net. Now that’s what I call a counterattack.
Barcelona really beat the brakes off Celtic. After losing to Alaves over the weekend in La Liga, they were out for blood. And they went for the fucking jugular. Messi, Suarez, and Neymar racked up six goals and six assists between them. Those are Wilt Chamberlain numbers.
Wilt Chamberlain and Andre the Giant holding up Arnold Schwarzenegger pic.twitter.com/DF6JL5rzyk
— Historic Pics (@HistoricIG) September 13, 2016
If this was a friendly, they would have made one of the Three Amigos switch sides at halftime to even out the teams. I know Barcelona would have won this game with only 10 players, probably with nine players, and maybe with eight players.
Messi stands alone as the only man to ever score six hat tricks in the Champions League. The great Ferenc Puskás has been dead for 10 years, so he won’t be getting his sixth European hat trick any time soon, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo as the only contender.
Ronaldo is on five Champions League hat tricks, and if anyone knows that second place is just first loser, it’s him. After seeing what Messi did against Celtic, Ronaldo is going to be playing like a man possessed.
After all, that Ballon d’Or isn’t gonna win itself.