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12th Jan 2018

As if there was any doubt before, Lionel Messi proves he’s not just a mere mortal

Philippe Coutinho's reaction said it all

Ben Kiely

30 minutes into Barcelona vs Celta Vigo, Lionel Messi had killed any hope of a contest.

Within the first half hour of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey second leg clash against Celta Vigo, Messi already had a brace and an assist to his name.

12 minutes in, the Argentine bagged his first goal. Full back Jordi Alba was the provider for the game’s opener.

On the touchline, the Spaniard sprinted behind the defence to catch a sublime lobbed through ball on the volley. With the side of his boot, Alba directed the perfect bouncing ball across the edge of the box for Messi to smash past the goalkeeper with his first touch.

Lionel Messi

Alba was also the provider for the second goal of the game, featuring a lovely one-two that began with a Messi pass and ended with another Messi goal.

One may have thought that Alba’s sensational assist would have been the pass of the game, but Messi had other ideas.

Just before the half hour mark, the Argentine genius lulled the opposition into daze in midfield. With the Celta Vigo players taking a brief breather, Messi remained composed to spot Alba making a break on the far side of the pitch.

If the subsequent defence-splitting pass he played happened in a game of Fifa, people would call it unrealistic.

Messi’s new teammate Philippe Coutinho gave respect where it was due from the stands.

The former Liverpool man had a wide grin washed across his face when Messi pulled that one out of the bag. A thigh injury means Coutinho will be on the sidelines, but man is he enjoying the show.

Luis Suarez added a fourth Barca goal three minutes later and Ivan Rakitic’s got the fifth in the second half to secure a 6-1 aggregate success for the hosts.