Messi won his sixth Ballon d'Or this week, but seems to have set sights on his seventh, with a magnificent display on Saturday as Barcelona beat Mallorca 5-2, with him scoring a customary, glorious, hat-trick. His first two goals were signature, whipped strikes into the left corner from just outside the box, with the first nestling perfectly into the top corner. The hat-trick came seven minutes from time after latching on to a pass from Luis Suarez to smash into the opposite top corner. He sent more passes into the final third than any other player in La Liga on Saturday, and had the second-most touches after team-mate Sergio Roberto.
38 years of age. Joaquin is 38 and he has become the oldest player in the history of La Liga to score a hat-trick and not only that, he achieved it in the first 21 minutes of the contest against Athletic Bilbao. His three finishes were timeless, each from the left hand side of the area and sent home into the far right corner with ruthless skill. Like Santi Cazorla at Villarreal, some Spanish veterans are showing no intention of ending their careers just yet.
There's scoring goals, and then there's scoring goals, and Oscar's two finishes as Leganes defeated Celta in convincing style. His free-kick to open the scoring was absolutely world class, with whip and bend and dip to nestle into the top corner, then minutes later he burst through the lines and when around 25 yards out he curled his effort on the move, once again finding the corner in style. The Real Madrid youngster is showing signs of real potential.
Valencia made it two consecutive wins in La Liga after coming back from two behind to beat Levante 4-2, with Gameiro scoring the equaliser before putting them ahead. The first came after some superb work from Rodrigo as he darted down the left wing before flicking a cross over the goalkeeper for his team-mate to nod home from on the line. The second, though, was all Gameiro; after collecting possession a yard inside the box, he proceeded to drill an emphatic finish across goal into the top left corner.
Messi will rightfully steal the headlines after his hat-trick, but Suarez was in great form too, scoring one of the goals of the season in the process. He ran in behind the Mallorca defence to receive a pass from Frenkie de Jong and then, with his back to goal, bounced a ridiculous back-heel over the challenge of the defender and past the keeper. He also assisted Messi's hat-trick goal with a neat lay-off after holding off the attentions of a couple of defenders.
ROUND TO FORGET