Lionel Messi is not only a great goal scorer, but also proved why he’s one of the most unselfish players around.
The Barcelona superstar gave up the chance to score a hat-trick against Getafe on Thursday night and instead chose to let Antoine Griezmann take a penalty three minutes into stoppage time so the Frenchman could get on the scoresheet.
It was not the first time Messi has done such a thing or would be doing so, though, doing the same thing for Neymar in 2015.
The 33-year-old still scored two first half goals against Getafe and in doing so achieved another remarkable feat, while Barca kept pace with both Madrid teams at the top of LaLiga with a 5-2 win.
The double meant the Argentine has now scored 25 LaLiga goals for the 12th consecutive season.
An astounding achievement, something no other player has managed in Europe’s top five leagues.
He scores so often that he now has the same number of league goals as the two highest scorers in Premier League history – Alan Shearer (260) and Wayne Rooney (208) – combined.
Messi has had a remarkable calendar year so far and has already hit 30 goal involvements, even though we are still in April.
He has 22 goals and eight assists to his name in all competitions and is a far cry from the form he showed earlier this season.
We all know the story. He wanted to leave, the club wouldn’t let him and he reluctantly stuck around for at least another season.
What it did prove is that Messi is perhaps human after all and those outside influences did really have an impact on his game.
He scored a mere ten goals, and recorded one assist in the first 18 games of the season, a run of games that included defeats to Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
It left Barcelona well off the pace in LaLiga, with Atletico seemingly running away with the title.
But things changed. Josep Maria Bartomeu, someone who was the source of much of Messi’s frustrations, stepped down as club president and was replaced by Joan Laporta in March.
And since the start of the year, Messi has been on a remarkable hot streak that has dragged Barcelona back into the title race and also led them to the Copa del Rey.
They are five points off leaders Atletico with a game still in hand.
“If I had spoken to Leo, I wouldn’t tell you,” manager Ronald Koeman said after the game. “The decision [to stay] is in his hands.