Let's all take a moment to truly try to understand - let alone appreciate - this staggering moment in football history. 


​Lionel Messi claimed another astonishing La Liga record in Saturday night's victory over Real Mallorca, as the Barcelona star bagged his 35th league hat-trick - which means he now sits above ex-Real Madrid man Cristiano Ronaldo in this outrageous battle. 


Messi delivered another sublime display at Camp Nou, helping the Spanish champions stroll to a comfortable 5-2 win over their struggling opponents, and in doing so the Argentina international wrote himself into the history books...again.

As shared by ​Opta, Messi's superb treble confirms that he now stands alone at the top of La Liga's hat-trick tree with 35.


Thirty-five. To put that into some form of context (not that it's really possible), the all-time Premier League top scorer Alan Shearer has the joint-highest number of trebles in the English top-flight along with Sergio Aguero - with 11.


The mind boggles.

 

It felt appropriate that ​Messi began the afternoon clutching his beloved Ballon d'Or, which he showed off to the home crowd before kick off. 


It wasn't long before the diminutive genius was demonstrating exactly why he had re-claimed the coveted golden ball from ​Real Madrid midfielder ​Luka Modric, when the 32-year-old pirouetted on the edge of the box, before curling a sumptuous strike beyond the despairing goalkeeper. 

The little magician then added a second, bending the ball home once more, and he completed his hat-trick late on when he lashed a fierce shot off the crossbar and past Manolo Reina.


Messi wasn't finished when it came to tumbling all records that stood before him though, as he also became the only player to score ten or more goals in each of the last 14 seasons in all of the top five European leagues. 


The superstar's consistency is what makes him one of the greatest players to ever play the game and his sixth Ballon d'Or success pays tribute to his relentlessness. 

Messi also stands joint-fifth in the hunt for the most goals scored from outside the box this season, tied with teams Atalanta, Lyon, Cagliari and ​Inter on seven strikes. Whilst the lethal finisher may never be able to win this record outright, given he's competing with his own club, he has certainly helped to boost Barça to the top of this list, bagging 70% of their goals from distance. 


All hail King Leo.