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'Best' Messi breaks Barca scoring record

PEP Guardiola hailed Lionel Messi as the king of world football after the Argentinian became Barcelona's all-time record goalscorer thanks to his eighth hat-trick of the season.

Messi (24) struck his latest treble in last night's 5-3 Primera Division win over Granada at the Nou Camp.

Messi equalled the mark of 232 official goals set by Cesar Rodriguez during the 1940s and 1950s when he slotted home Isaac Cuenca's cross in the 17th minute, and then secured the record outright in the 68th minute when he lobbed Granada goalkeeper Julio Cesar.

He made it three in the 86th minute, shimmying past Cesar before hitting home.


"We are witnessing the best (player) in every sense," Barcelona manager Guardiola said.

"He does everything, and he does it every three days.

"I'm sorry for those that want to sit on his throne, but this lad is the best.

"Hopefully we can enjoy his football for many more years."

Messi, a three-time FIFA World Player of the Year, has scored 48 goals in 40 games for the Catalan giants this season.

Guardiola's remarks may cause a slight stir in Madrid, where Cristiano Ronaldo is similarly regarded.

But Guardiola is convinced he has the greatest player of the era in his team, adding Messi was as significant a figure in football as Michael Jordan was in basketball during the 1990s.

Guardiola said: "You have few players who dominate like this, but he does it. You can compare him perfectly to Jordan."