BARCELONA, April 17, 2019 (Xinhua) -- FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates during the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United in Barcelona, Spain, on April 16, 2019. Barcelona won 3-0 an. Image Source: IANS News

Barcelona : , Dec 8 (IANS) Barcelona capain Lionel Messi netted his 35th league hat-trick in their La Liga match against Mallorca, thus surpassing arch rival Cristiano Ronaldo for most hat-tricks in the Spanish top flight. Messi scored thrice in Barca's 5-2 win, which is also his 53rd hat-trick overall in his career.

He also took his season's tally in the league to 12, thus displacing Real Madrid's Karim Benzema from the top of the standings. Earlier this week, he had won his sixth Ballon d'Or, thus moving him clear of Ronaldo for most number of times that a player has won the coveted individual honour.

The win has been the latest in a recent upswing in form for Barcelona that has taken them to the top of the table and eight points clear of falling out of the Champions League spots. They are however tied on points at the top with Real Madrid.

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