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Jan 28, 2013

'Limitless' Messi hits four past Osasuna

Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura has hailed Lionel Messi after the Argentine's four-goal haul in the 5-1 rout of Osasuna on Sunday.

• La Liga: Sunday review
• Blog: Messi warms up for Clasico

Messi, 25, became the youngest player to score 200 goals in La Liga, hitting the net for the 11th consecutive game.

Barcelona looked impressive ahead of Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash with Real Madrid and Roura believes the influence of Messi cannot be underestimated.

"When you're with [Messi] every day the point comes when these things seem normal," Roura said. "But when you stop and reflect on what has been done you simply bring your hands to your head. It seems like he has no limits.

"We are very pleased. He played the entire 90 minutes, and he wasn't able to complete a lot of training sessions before tonight's match. He worked hard and he collaborated in the team's victory. He's an important player for us and he's ready to play.

"[Osasuna] make it difficult to build up play from behind, but that also means that their defence is higher up the pitch - and that leaves a lot of space. We took advantage of that. When we broke through that barrier of pressure, our players on the wings and our forwards had a lot of room in front of them."

Messi insists victory over Osasuna was critical for Barcelona to take momentum into the Clasico and he reserved special praise for goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

"The important thing is that the team played well and that we won," he said. "People were talking about the Clasico and we knew that we had to win today. [Valdes] deserves the applause and more, for me he's the best keeper in the history of the club."

Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo netted his 19th career hat trick for Real Madrid as Los Blancos put four past a lacklustre Getafe.

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