Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Lionel Messi Scores Five Goals in One Match



"We'll never see a player like him again,"  "He is one of a kind."
--FC Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola.

Messi helped defending champion FC Barcelona beat Bayer Leverkusen 7-1 to advance to the quarterfinals.

"Without Messi, Barca is the best team," Leverkusen coach Robin Dutt said. "And with him, they are in another galaxy."

The last time a player scored five goals in European soccer’s top club competition had been in 1979-80.

"Messi is a joke. For me the best ever," Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney wrote on Twitter.

He became the first player to score four goals twice in the Champions League — he accomplished the feat against Arsenal two years ago.  He has 48 goals for Barcelona this season, including 12 in the Champions League. 

"I can’t remember the last time I scored five goals, so I’m very happy," Messi said. "It’s nice to score five goals."

Messi has seven hat tricks this season.

"He’s the best. There is no other like him," Guardiola said. "The numbers speak for themselves. One day he’ll score six. We’re very fortunate to have Messi, so we have to take advantage of him."

"What was important was to win," Messi said. "That’s what we wanted to achieve, now we’re in the quarterfinals and we did it impressively."

Excerpts from ESPN.com, BostonHerald.com, and the Associated Press (March 7, 2012)

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