Lionel Messi became the all time leading goalscorer in the UEFA Champions League just four days after achieving the same feat in La Liga by scoring a hat-trick against APOEL Nicosia, taking his total to 74 goals in the competition.
Messi was captaining Barça on the night and stabbed home his side’s second goal of the evening from close range on 37 minutes after Luis Suarez had opened his account for the club with the opener. He then scored in the 58th minute from a Dani Alves pass, beating goalkeeper Urko Pardo with a flicked finish. The captain completed his hat-trick in the 87th minute after Pedro chased down a ball to pass it back to Messi, who scored with one touch into an open net.
The Argentinian moves ahead of Raul, who scored 71 goals in 142 appearances for Real Madrid and Schalke, with Cristiano Ronaldo just one goal further back on 70.
Messi now holds both scoring records at just 27 years of age and reached the new record mark in 51 fewer games than Raul with both men having won the tournament three times. The four-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner broke Telmo Zarra’s 59-year-old record of 251 La Liga goals at the weekend with a hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Sevilla to take his tally in the Spanish top flight to 253 goals in 289 appearances.
Messi recently celebrated the tenth anniversary of his debut with the Catalan giants, a period which has seen him win 21 trophies.