strengthened his reputation as one of the best free-kick takers in the world with a stunning effort in Barcelona's 4-1 victory over Real Betis on Sunday night.
The Argentine drew praise from football fans around the world with a stunning hat-trick that even had the Betis fans on their feet in appreciation.
The first of the treble came midway through the first half as he found the top left corner with an inch-perfect free-kick from 20 yards.
LA LIGA CONVERSION RATES
Lionel Messi - 8.5%
330 attempts, 28 goals
Cristiano Ronaldo - 6.1%
310 attempts, 19 goals
Ronaldinho - 7.3%
205 attempts, 15 goals
Roberto Carlos - 4.2%
382 attempts, 16 goals
It was Messi's fifth free-kick goal of the season and the 45th of his career. No player in Europe has netted more since the start of 2011/12 campaign.
And a new stat shows Messi has a higher La Liga conversion rate than a number of great takers, including old rival Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 31-year-old has found the net 28 times in 330 attempts in the league, a success rate of 8.5 per cent.
Ronaldo scored 19 of his 310 free-kicks during his time at Real Madrid at a rate of 6.1 per cent.
Legendary Brazilian takers Roberto Carlos and Ronaldinho operated at 4.2 per cent and 7.3 per cent during their spells at Madrid and Barcelona.