Lionel Messi has surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo when he hit his eighth hat-trick and now wears the crown of the most prolific hat-trick scorer in the Champions League history. His antics helped Barcelona beat PSV 4-0 on Tuesday night and earned Lionel even more praise from the team’s coach.

Making amends for the disappointing world cup

Messi started off with a piledriver free shot to open the score for his team and left the opposing team goalkeeper rooted to the ground. Soon he increased his personal goal tally to two with a neat pass from Ivan Rakitic.

In the last moments of the game, he hit the third goal to complete his trial.

It was the eighth by Messi and is a record for scoring more hat-tricks than any other player in Champions League.

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Improved free kicks

The latest dilemma of the opposing teams is how to defend against Messi's free kicks. Will, he hit it over the wall or under it? It was the question uppermost in PSV players lined to stop Messi’s free kick. He hit it a whisker above their heads with the speed of lightning into the nets, and the defenders were left rooted on their spot. There was nothing more to do but applaud the seemingly impossible shot.

Messi has improved his free-kick a great deal and no wonder he has scored 25 goals from a free-kick in the last five years. He scored eight goals through free kicks in 2018 and had scored twice already this season. Messi is desperate to excel in this season and has vowed to bring the European Cup back to Camp Nou this season.

Barcelona did not have an excellent season for the last three years having been knocked out at the quarter-final stage for the previous three years. It was Real Madrid which won the championship in each of the tournaments.

According to the BBC, on social media, he was referred to as "The GOAT" - the greatest of all-time - his name was tweeted more than 327,000 times in the time between his first goal and four hours after full-time.

Barcelona top favorites

PSV is a less fancied team and top seed Barcelona is the favorite to win and progress into the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The quartet also features Tottenham Hotspur and Inter Milan.

Barcelona captain Messi has put his World Cup debacle behind him and is peak form having netted seven goals in six games this season.

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