Messi sets sights on Barcelona record
LIONEL MESSI stated his desire to become Barcelona's all-time top scorer after his hat-trick helped them to a 5-0 Primera Liga win over Atletico Madrid on Saturday.
The Argentinian is 42 goals short of Cesar Rodriguez's record but having scored 53 goals last year, he believes the record can be broken by the end of the season.
"I'm very excited about becoming top scorer. Hopefully I can beat his statistics -- I want to continue breaking records here."
David Villa opened the scoring in the ninth minute for Barca before Atletico defender Joao Miranda deflected the ball into his own net to make it 2-0 six minutes later.
Messi (right) then added a third in the 26th minute with a trademark individual goal before he completed the scoring with two late efforts to leave Barca in second place, a point above Real Madrid and one behind leaders Real Betis, who face Getafe tonight.
Cristiano Ronaldo also struck a hat-trick on Saturday as 10-man Real Madrid ended a disappointing week with a 6-2 win over Rayo Vallecano.
In Italy, Claudio Ranieri got his Internazionale reign off to a winning start with a 3-1 win over Bologna. The former Chelsea boss was appointed on Thursday following Inter's poor start to the season. Giampaolo Pazzini opened the scoring but ex-West Ham midfielder Alessandro Diamanti equalised before Diego Milito and Lucio secured the win late on.
Milos Krasic grabbed a second half equaliser for leaders Juventus who were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Catania yesterday.
Joe Cole, meanwhile, was labelled as "international class" by his new coach Rudi Garcia after the former Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder scored his first goal for French champions Lille with a superb 30-yard strike against Lorient.
Lille have endured a frustrating start to the season with four draws from their last four games and they succumbed once again on Saturday, a last-minute equaliser coming courtesy of Kevin Monnet-Paquet.