Barca ace Lionel Messi focused on team after Champions League milestone
Lionel Messi insisted it was all about the team after becoming the all-time leading scorer in Champions League history during Barcelona’s 4-0 win at APOEL on Tuesday.
The Argentina striker scored a hat-trick in Nicosia to make it 74 goals in Europe’s top club competition, three more than former Real Madrid striker Raul.
Messi was following up becoming the Primera Division’s all-time leading scorer when he scored a treble in a 5-1 triumph over Sevilla on Saturday to make it 253 goals in 289 league appearances.
"It’s really beautiful to achieve this record in such a wonderful competition," Messi told fcbarcelona.com. "But the most important thing is the win. We played a great game."
The night in Cyprus was also a big occasion for Luis Suarez, who scored his first official goal since joining Barca from Liverpool this summer.
Suarez was elated over Messi’s achievement and also excited to have opened his goal account.
"I came here to score goals," he said."Messi and I understand each other really well on the pitch.
"Messi wasn’t anxious to score. He knew that the moment would come.
"He just helps the team in the best possible way."
Barca defender Marc Bartra, who like Messi has graduated from the youth team at the club, was in awe of his team-mate.
"Messi’s record is spectacular and incredible," he said. "Not in your wildest dreams can you even imagine to achieve what he is doing. He has set very high standards.
"We leave Cyprus very happy following Messi’s record and Suarez’s first goal."
Barcelona winger Pedro is convinced Messi will do even greater things.
"Messi was very happy," he said." It’s not easy to do what he has done and what he still has left to do.
"Messi has an ambition to continue to beat records. This fact is crucial to our team."
Messi, 27, is not looking too far ahead, though, and his primary concern is for Barca to beat Paris St Germain on December 10 at the Nou Camp in order to clinch first place in Group F.
Both sides have already sealed a spot in the last 16 but PSG are one point clear of Barca heading into the final pool game.
"It’s going to be a very difficult game," Messi said. "We know they have very good players, we know them.
"They are growing as a team and each time they are much stronger.
"But we will play at home and we have to do a good game in order to finish first.
"We are Barca and we will try to achieve our initial aim which is to win everything.
"We must remain on this path."