Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi scored a brace to help Barcelona defeat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the Copa del Rey final at the Nou Camp on Saturday night.
The Catalan giants were always favourites to claim victory in this one and thought they had taken the lead on ten minutes, but Neymar saw a volleyed effort ruled out for offside.
However, Luis Enrique’s men were ahead ten minutes later though. Messi picked-up the ball on the right touchline, took on four Athletic defenders before firing an effort past Iago Herrerin at his near post. It was simply breathtaking.
The Catalan giants had a second goal on 37 minutes. This time Neymar finished off a good team move involving Ivan Rakitic, Messi and Luis Suarez to score his 39th goal of the season in all competitions.
Bilbao youngster Inaki Williams was unlucky not to have halved the deficit before the break, as the youngsters superb volley cannoned back off the Barcelona bar.
Spanish legend Xavi came on at half-time to make his last Barcelona appearance in domestic football. Barcelona continued to dominate in the second period and trebled their lead on 74 minutes, as Messi turned home a Dani Alves cross.
Athletic did get a consolation goal through Williams with 11 minutes to go, but it was too late too late for the men from Bilbao.
Barcelona had all-but completed their 27th Copa victory and the second leg of their bid to secure the treble by the time Xavi hit the post with a free-kick in the last minute.
This game, and especially his first goal, summed up why Lionel Messi is considered by many to be the best player to have ever graced a football pitch.
Is Lionel Messi the best player of all time?