Friday February 12th, 2016

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi has won the La Liga Player of the Month Award for the first time in his career, the league announced Friday.

Messi earned the award after scoring six goals in five league games in the month of January.

The 2015 Ballon d’Or winner opened the month with a hat trick against Granada, and then scored against Athletic Bilbao and Malaga. He sealed his January campaign with an equalizing goal in Barcelona’s 2–1 victory over Atletico Madrid on Jan. 30.

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The Player of the Month award was created at the beginning of the 2013–14 season, and is voted on by writers. Neymar is the only other Barcelona player to have captured the honor, winning in November.

Barcelona is in first place in La Liga and won or drew every match the team played in January.

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