How Messi broke record, helped Barcelona wallop Athletic Club to lift Copa del Rey




Messi with Copa Dey Rey

Lionel Messi passed Telmo Zarra as the all-time leading Copa del Rey final goalscorer with his second-half brace on Saturday in Barcelona’s 4-0 victory over Athletic Club.

The pair of strikes took him to 10 goals in the competition’s final. He’s won the tournament seven times.

Barcelona now have their first trophy of the campaign and will try to add a La Liga title to their cabinet by the end of 2020-21 as they navigate the end of a three-horse domestic race with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. They sit one point back of Real and two points back of Atletico with eight matches to go.

In his post-game press conference, head coach Ronald Koeman expressed his desire to see Messi stay at Barca beyond this season.

“Messi is a winner. We have to talk about all our players because they deserve this title. But Messi makes the difference. All of us want Messi to stay here,” Koeman said.

Barca president Joan Laporta added to Telecinco: “Messi is the best player in the world and we will do all we can to get him to stay.”

In addition to breaking the Copa del Rey final record, Messi also scored his 30th goal in all competitions this year, a mark he’s reached 13 times in a row.

Team-mate Ilaix Moriba, who came off the bench Saturday, was four years old the last time Messi failed to score at least 30 goals in a season.

Messi’s goals came in quick succession. The first was in the 68th minute, as he played a give-and-go with Frenkie de Jong and chopped inside to open up a window to roll the ball past goalkeeper Unai Simon. Four minutes later, he beat Simon with a first-time finish to the near post.

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