Lionel Messi enjoys record-breaking day as Barcelona win
Lionel Messi scored against the 36th different team he has faced in La Liga on Saturday to break the league record, while Barcelona also set a new club unbeaten league run as they beat Girona 6-1.
By scoring in the first half, Messi broke the record he shared with Athletic Bilbao striker Aritz Aduriz.
Messi has found the net against all but three of the clubs he has faced in La Liga -- only coming up empty against Cadiz (now in the second division), Real Murcia (now third division) and Xerez (now fourth division).
Before scoring himself, Lionel Messi played a through ball to Luis Suarez to net an equaliser for Barcelona for what was the Argentine star's 148th career assist in La Liga.
The league tweeted that Messi's assist set an all-time record for a player in the Primera Division, though that could not be confirmed with available data. Spanish news outlet Sport reported last week that Messi had been level with former Real Madrid player Michel on 147 career assists.
Messi also added another goal -- under the wall from a free kick -- to move into the lead among Europe's top five leagues for the most combined goals and assists this season. His 22 goals in La Liga lead the league.
The game marked the 130th time that Messi has scored at home in La Liga -- of those, Barcelona have lost only twice.
The victory also allowed Barcelona to break the club milestone for longest unbeaten run in La Liga that had stood at 31 games since the 2010-11 season, under former coach Pep Guardiola.
Barcelona have now gone 32 league games without a loss, after going undefeated through all 25 rounds this season under Ernesto Valverde, plus the last seven from the previous campaign under Luis Enrique.
Real Sociedad still own the record of 38 games without a loss in La Liga, set in 1979-80.
It was also a great day for Suarez, who recorded his first hat trick since August 2016, while also providing two assists.
Messi and Suarez are the only teammates in Europe's top five leagues to each record 20 or more goals this season.
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