Bayern Munich's fit-again winger Franck Ribery came back with a bang on Saturday, scoring twice as the visitors romped to a 7-0 Bundesliga demolition of Werder Bremen.
It was a sublime performance by the French international who is one of five candidates for the World Player of the Year crown.
Ribery, who has already been voted European Player of the Year, was in dazzling form after returning from a cracked rib as he helped the league leaders make up for the long-term injury absence of fellow winger Arjen Robben.
"It was great to be playing again from the start and to feel no pain in the rib any more," the 30-year-old Ribery told reporters as champions Bayern went seven points clear at the top of the table.
"That is why I could play very freely.
"We have to continue exactly as we have been playing. We have a great mentality and it is fun playing with this team."
Ribery was also involved in Werder defender Assani Lukimya's own goal and set up another for Mario Mandzukic. Daniel van Buyten, Thomas Mueller and Mario Goetze were the other scorers.
"There is no player in the world who has deserved more than him to be world footballer of the year," said Bayern president Uli Hoeness after Ribery took his goal tally in the league this season to six.
"It would be a disgrace if he did not win the trophy."
Soccer's ruling body FIFA will this month trim the shortlist for the award from five to three.
Messi has already won the award four times.