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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona's Lionel Messi hits 30 goals for eighth season in a row

Lionel Messi's free kick in Barcelona's 2-1 win over Sevilla on Sunday ensured the forward reached the 30-goal mark for an eighth season running.

Messi, 28, curled home a fabulous free kick on 31 minutes to make it 1-1 at home to Sevilla, before Gerard Pique completed the turnaround early in the second half.

Pique said: "Messi creates everyone for us, play, assists, goals. Having him in the team is a luxury, a privilege. Some teams come closer to stopping him better than others, but it's impossible to stop him completely."

The Argentina international scored 58 times in all competitions last season, helping Barca to a memorable Treble.

Messi is joint fifth in the Liga scoring rankings, having netted 16 times, with club teammate Luis Suarez leading the way on 25 goals and Cristiano Ronaldo second on 22.

Barca are top of Liga by eight points, with Atletico Madrid second and Real Madrid in third, 12 points behind Luis Enrique's leading side.

Luis Enrique said after the game at the weekend that his team were in pole position to retain the Liga title, but added his team's 34-match unbeaten run will mean nothing at season's end without the title.

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