Messi thanks team-mates
Red-hot star says hat-trick was down to all Barca players
By Francisco Acedo. Last Updated: March 22, 2010 12:48pm
Messi: In top form
Barcelona hat-trick hero Lionel Messi has praised his team-mates following his match-winning performance against Real Zaragoza.
The diminutive Argentine bagged three goals in a 4-2 victory against relegation-threatened Zaragoza, keeping the Catalans level on points with rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
Messi has now scored 25 goals in the Primera Division this season and 11 in the last five games in all competitions, and his spectacular hat-trick has been met with high praise.
But the 22-year-old insists that his Barca team-mates are the ones who deserve the credit following the win.
"The real merit of my goals goes to my team-mates," he said. "It is true that I score goals but without the help of my team-mates it would be impossible.
"The match in Zaragoza was difficult from the first minute."
Messi's second goal has in particular received many plaudits, but he would not be drawn on whether it is the best of his career to date, although he believes his side can now push on and win the title.
He added: "I do not say if the second goal is the best of my whole career. That is a question for the press and the people.
"I always try and do spectacular things and am happy to do so.
"I believe that it is possible to win La Liga although Real Madrid are putting pressure on with their scores."
Manager Pep Guardiola was delighted following the Zaragoza triumph but admits he cannot find enough words to describe Messi.
"Put in the superlatives yourselves, I'm running out," he said. "It's already been a while now that he has been outstanding.
"He's more than decisive in every way.
"That he's capable of doing everything that he does at his age is something impressive, that doesn't make any sense.
"He always wants to play, whether it's the Champions League final or against a third-division side.
"For me it's difficult to leave him out, seeing the form he's in.
"He's an amateur in this sense, he always wants to play.
"Obviously his game has a great impact on our team. The day he's not there we will respond, knowing that with him we are better. There are others who will take on the responsibility that he is doing."