Following a stunning free-kick and a smart first time finish in the first half, Messi completed his 33rd La Liga hat-trick with a magical chip from outside the box, after which the Betis fans collectively stood, applauded and sang the name of one of the greatest footballers of all time.
"Our opponents suffer because of Messi, but they also enjoy him," Valverde explained in his post-match press conference, as reported by Marca.
"His match tonight was extraordinary, he's scored three goals and also made a fourth. The public has recognised his talent, they are enjoying seeing him in his prime and they respect him for the player he is."
Lionel Messi has scored or assisted a goal once every 53 minutes on average this season.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) March 17, 2019
37 games. 39 goals. 18 assists.
Out of this world. pic.twitter.com/58vRzxw8DY
"They played in an uncontrolled way, they took risks and we were a threat every time we crossed the halfway line."
Valverde also insisted that
"We've taken an important step, but we have to be cautious. I