21 Mar 2012

Record man Messi puts Barca within five points of Real

11:46 am on 21 March 2012

Lionel Messi's hat-trick set a new Barcelona scoring record of 234 goals as the La Liga football champions won an action-packed home game against Granada 5-3 to close to within five points of leaders Real Madrid.

The Argentine World Player of the Year, still only 24, also set a Spanish record of 54 goals in all competitions in a single season with more than two months of the campaign remaining and overhauled Cristiano Ronaldo to top the La Liga scoring charts on 34 goals.

The 24-year-old Messi matched the mark set by Cesar Rodriguez in the 1940s and 50s in his 314th appearance for the club.