Magical Messi becomes Barcelona's all-time leading goalscorer after grabbing hat-trick
22:14 GMT, 20 March 2012
Lionel Messi has broken Barcelona's all-time goalscoring record by netting a hat-trick during tonight's 5-3 Primera Division win over with Granada at the Nou Camp.
Messi equalled the mark of 232 official goals set by Cesar Rodriguez during the 1940s and 50s when he slotted home Isaac Cuenca's cross in the 17th minute and the Argentina international secured the record outright in the 68th minute when he lobbed the ball over Granada goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
Sensational: Lionel Messi is now Barcelona's all-time top scorer, at just 24 years of age
The 24-year-old then completed his hat-trick – his eighth of the season for Barca – in the 86th minute after rounding Julio Cesar and slamming the ball into the roof of the net.
The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year has now scored an incredible 48 goals in 40 games for the Catalan giants this season.
Unstoppable: Messi has now scored 48 goals this season in just 40 games for the Catalan club
It was initially thought Rodriguez had scored 235 official goals for the Blaugrana, but Barca announced this morning that the figure had been amended to 232 following a joint study by the club and La Vanguardia newspaper.
In our thoughts: Messi shows his support for Fabrice Muamba (left) and celebrates his record-equalling goal