"Him scoring four goals isn't news anymore. He's done this time and time again, on many nights and in many games. He repeats it, he repeats it and he repeats it." Having coached Athletic Bilbao before joining Barca, Valverde has faced Messi multiple times, but for summer signing Nelson Semedo, experiencing the Argentine's magic live is a relatively new sensation. "Game by game he surprises us, there are no words for him," said the Portuguese right back, who won the penalty which Messi converted for his first goal of the night in the 21st minute.
Another match ball for Lionel Messi’s collection ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/8WImw9STWH— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 19, 2017
Messi's second was a remarkably accurate finish inside Marko Dmitrovic's far post just before the hour mark, while Paulinho played him in to stab home his hat-trick just three minutes later. Barca's rout was completed when Messi played a one-two with Aleix Vidal and tucked home in the 87th minute past the despairing Dmitrovic. "He's one of the most intelligent players I've seen on a football pitch. He's extraordinary," Valverde added on Movistar.
Lionel Messi has now scored 39 hat-tricks for Barcelona across all competitions. ?His 28th in LaLiga. ? pic.twitter.com/96R3ZH0tBD — Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 19, 2017
Denis Suarez, who scored and set up Paulinho with a corner for Barcelona's second of the night, said: "Messi makes everything easy, he's the best in the world, nobody has any doubt of that. I hope we can have him for a lot of time." Despite losing Neymar in the summer to Paris St. Germain, suffering frustration in the transfer market and seeing president Josep Maria Bartomeu's reign questioned, Messi's virtuoso displays have kept Barca top of the table with a 100% record.
? 300 goals at the Nou Camp ? Eight goals in his last four games ? Another hat-trickLionel Messi, ladies and gentleman ? pic.twitter.com/97LUEOnMvx — BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) September 19, 2017