Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Champions League: Messi hat-trick fires Barca to victory over PSV

Messi has changed since taking over as Barcelona captain - president PSV coach Van Bommel warns players over Messi shirt swap
Jan Ortega | 19 September, 2018, 00:28

In what is his first season skippering Barcelona, the five-time Ballon d'Or notched a sublime hat-trick in a 4-0 thrashing of PSV at the Nou Camp - kicking it all with a sublime 25-yard free-kick in the first half with his 101th goal in the competition.

And this surprising statistic has left many scratching their heads including Brazilian playmaker Coutinho, who could not explain Messi's drought in the Champions League.

Van Bommel, who was No.2 to Bert van Marwijk with Australia at the World Cup in Russian Federation, wants his Dutch league leaders to stay professional as they begin the Champions League campaign facing the player he called the best in the world.

Last year, Real Madrid captured its third straight Champions League title. For me, this is the most important game of my career at club level.

"I just want to be myself and win as much as I can here".

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said PSV, on paper no match for his side, deserved respect.

Another year, another Champions League record for the irrepressible Lionel Messi.

Former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur striker, Dimitar Berbatov, has predicted two clubs that will reach the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League finals.

In the other Group B game played on Tuesday, Inter Milan scored two late goals, including a stoppage-time victor, to mark their return to the Champions League with a 2-1 comeback victory against Tottenham.

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