Lionel Messi scored his 35th La Liga hat-trick to break Cristiano Ronaldo’s record and help Barcelona to a comprehensive victory over Mallorca on Saturday.
Messi showed off his sixth Ballon d’Or trophy at the Camp Nou as the Spanish champions returned to the top of the table with a 5-2 win.
And the Argentina international put on the sort of performance that won him the accolade as he found the net three times, with Antoine Griezmann and Luiz Suarez also on target for the hosts.
It was the 53rd treble of his career and his 35th in Spain’s top division, meaning he has now scored more than any other player in the competition’s history after passing the 34 managed by long-time rival Ronaldo during his time at Real Madrid .
The 32-year-old scored his first of the evening in 17th minute when he curled in a stunning effort from outside the area after Antoine Griezmann chipped over goalkeeper Manolo Reina for the early opener.
Mallorca were able to halve the deficit in the 35th minute when Ante Budimir beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen with a deflected effort.
But Messi restored Barca’s two-goal lead just a few minutes later when he curled a long-range effort past Reina for the second time and Suarez put the hosts firmly in control with an impressive backheeled finish just before the break.
Budimir headed in his second goal for the visitors just after the hour mark but Messi had the final say as he fired home a powerful effort in the final ten minutes.
It took Messi’s La Liga tally for the season to 12 goals and saw him replace Karim Benzema as the league’s top scorer.
Meanwhile, Barcelona returned to the top of the table after rivals Real had moved three points clear with a 2-0 win over Espanyol earlier in the day.
Valverde’s side travel to Inter Milan on Tuesday for their final game of the Champions League group stages, with the Spanish giants already confirmed as Group F winners.