Messi ties La Liga, overall Spanish records for career hat tricks
Sometimes, it is so easy to forget that Lionel Messi is only 27.
The Argentine international is in the middle of his 10th professional season with Barcelona and has been terrorizing La Liga opponents since his 2005 debut. For someone who has had so much success and is arguably only now entering his prime, it is incredible just how quickly he has broken and rewritten the record books at all levels of competition.
In Sunday's 5-0 league match win over Levante, Messi connected for his 23rd career La Liga hat trick and his 31st overall Spanish hat trick, tying both marks. Messi tied Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo in league play and former Bilbao great Telmo Zarra for the overall Spanish lead.
On Nov. 22, 2014, Messi broke Zarra's all-time La Liga scoring record of 251 goals with, coincidentally, another hat trick in a 5-1 Barcelona win over Sevilla. Ronaldo recorded his 23rd La Liga hat trick on Dec. 6, 2014 in a 3-0 win over Celta Vigo.
Sunday was also Messi's 300th career La Liga contest. All he's done is score 267 times and add another 107 assists.