Lionel Messi dropped one of his finest performances of the season in Barcelona's 4-0 win at Granada this weekend.
Ronald Koeman must be acutely aware that, in having a six-time Ballon d'Or winner in his squad, he essentially has a secret weapon that can wipe out any team in La Liga if everything perfectly aligns.
Barcelona 4-0 Granada
However, it was Antoine Griezmann who opened the scoring at Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes, finding the bottom corner with a left-footed strike after Roberto Soldaldo played him onside.
But the tidy finish was merely a primer for Messi to take the headlines in the opening 45 minutes, helping himself to a remarkable brace that saw him command the race for the Pichichi Trophy.
First, the Argentine superstar doubled Barcelona's advantage with a fizzing top-corner strike and then, he hammered the final nail in Granada's coffin by ending his drought from free-kicks.
Messi bags a brace
Despite the hosts going as far as laying one of their players behind the wall, Messi reminded everyone of his set-piece prowess by firing home a fantastic effort on the goalkeeper's side.
And by the time Griezmann put the game out of sight with his own brace in the 63rd minute, Koeman knew that the three points were in the bag and subbed off Messi just seconds later.
Such was the brilliance of Messi's performance that Barca had no need to wring a full 90 minutes out of him and besides, his hour on the pitch was sufficient to produce some superb highlights.
Messi's thrilling highlights
As Messi plods deeper and deeper into his thirties, it's never been more important to appreciate some of his finest displays and running circles around Granada certainly fits into that category.
So, do yourselves a favour and watch one of the greatest footballers of all time doing what he does best by checking out his Granada highlights, courtesy of YouTuber 'Lance 10', down below:
Slow start? No chance
If there's a more damning indictment of claims that Messi has endured a 'slow start' to the 2020/21 campaign, then we haven't seen one because everything he touched turned to gold in Granada.
I think everybody, even ourselves at times, got carried away by the fact he took so long to notch his first open-play goal of the season, but Messi's game is about so much more than scoring.
But if it takes a smattering of goals, so much so that he leads the scoring charts in La Liga, to shine a light on that, then so be it because Messi has statistically been Europe's best player this season.
As a result, to say that Messi has made a mockery of claims that he's experiencing a difficult campaign would be the mother of all understatements, so underestimate a GOAT at your peril.News Now - Sport News