LIONEL MESSI’s Champions League hat-trick for Barcelona could be good news for Real Madrid.
Messi got his, and Barcelona’s, Champions League campaign off to a perfect start as he netted three against PSV Eindhoven with Ousmane Dembele scoring the other in a 4-0 victory.
The Argentine ace found the net with a sublime free-kick to open his account before a neat half-volley earned him his second.
And the forward completed his hat-trick as he guided the ball home from 15 yards.
Messi’s goals ensured that he became only the second player in history to score in 14 consecutive Champions League seasons, drawing level with former Real Madrid striker Raul.
After completing his hat-trick, he has also now scored the most trebles in the competitions’ history with eight, pulling ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo.
And Messi’s display clearly left a lasting impression on his manager, Ernesto Valverde.
“Messi is normal because we always see it," he said.
“In any of us it would be abnormal, but he does extraordinary things and makes them routine.
Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick as Barcelona beat PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League (Image: GETTY)
Lionel Messi netted a stunning free-kick on his way to a hat-trick for Barcelona (Image: GETTY)
“It was a magisterial free kick and we’re getting tired of repeating it, although some never do.”
But it might not all be good news for Barcelona.
The previous two times Messi has begun the Champions League campaign with a hat-trick have seen Real Madrid go on to lift the title.
Messi also netted three in the opening games of the 2013-14 season and 2016-17 campaign.
Real Madrid won the Champions League in 2014 (Image: GETTY)
Real Madrid repeated their Champions League heroics in 2017 (Image: GETTY)
Five years ago it was a hat-trick against Ajax before punishing Celtic with a trio of goals two seasons ago.
Real Madrid went on to win the Champions League title both times with Barcelona knocked out in the quarter-finals.
And in another strange twist of fate, the teams that knocked out Barca went on to reach the final with Atletico Madrid ending Barcelona’s campaign in 2014 and Juventus doing the same three years later.