Lionel Messi walked away with the match-ball after starring in Barcelona's 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven. It was double delight for the Argentine striker, as his hat-trick saw him get his name etched into the record books for have the highest number of hat-tricks to his name.
The Barcelona talisman was for a long time on level with his arch-rival Cristiano Ronaldo with 7 hat-tricks. But now, the Argentine sees himself pull ahead of the Portuguese superstar in terms of this record. Sitting behind these two with a huge margin is Filippo Inzaghi, Mario Gomez and Luiz Adriano with three hat-tricks to their name.
While Messi has got his Champions League campaign off to the best possible start, Cristiano Ronaldo could have a chance to draw level with Messi when he makes his first Champions League appearance for his new club Juventus against Valencia on Thursday.
Messi is desperate to win the Champions League this year, given Barcelona's consistent failure in the competition. He is a man on a mission to break the streak of his team's Spanish rivals Real Madrid, who have asserted their dominance over the last four years. But if Barcelona's recent performances are anything to go by, it surely means that they mean business and are one of the top contenders for this year's final.
PSV looked threatening in the start with Hirving Lozano producing some menacing runs. But, Messi rose to the occasion by providing the breakthrough for Barcelona through a spectacular free-kick.
Ousmane Dembele doubled their advantage in the second half with a wonderful individual effort from outside the box, before Messi went on scored twice in the final 13 minutes to cap off an impressive Barcelona performance in their opening fixture.
The only setback on the night came off Samuel Umtiti, who was sent off of in the final few minutes for a rash challenge on a PSV player. As a result, the French defender will miss their next UCL game which will be played away against Tottenham Hotspur.