Lionel Messi: Barcelona star's stunning highlights vs Alaves ahead of PSG clash

  • Kobe Tong
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Lionel Messi was at the top of his game during Barcelona's 5-1 win over Alaves.

It feels like an eternity ago now that fans were accusing Messi of starting the season slowly, failing to score his first goal from open play until the 5-2 Real Betis victory in early November.

But the six-time Ballon d'Or winner most certainly isn't struggling to score from open play anymore, even going as far as matching Cristiano Ronaldo's career tally during the La Liga triumph.

Barcelona 5-1 Alaves

That's because Messi joined Francisco Trincao and Junior Firpo on the scoresheet with a glorious brace, ensuring that Luis Rioja's strike for the visitors was nothing more than a consolation.

And while, yes, Messi's goals were indeed from open play, to simply leave things at that would be the mother of all understatements because both finishes came from outside the penalty area.

First up, Messi danced his way into the final third and unleashed a cutting effort towards the near post that was so far into the corner that it nestled in the opposite side-netting via the woodwork.

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Two stunning goals

The Argentine then followed it up with an even better finish, sending a sizzling strike into the far top corner to leave Alaves shot-stopping Fernando Pacheco standing statuesque. 

That's not to mention the fact Messi could have helped himself to a hat-trick if it wasn't for VAR elevating him to the status as La Liga's most punished player for disallowed goals.

But this is Messi we're talking about and even in a game that saw him produce two stunning goals, it should come as absolutely no surprise that he offered more than clinical finishing.

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Messi's individual highlights

According to SofaScore.com, Messi chipped in with an assist, completed four dribbles, boasted a passing accuracy of 82%, made three keys passes and racked up 96 touches.

As such, Messi's individual highlights make for superb viewing with Twitter user @_MessismoReturn stitching together the Barca star's clinic in passing, dribbling and all-round footballing intelligence.

Messi is just a dream to watch, isn't he?

Best in the world again?

Honestly, as things stand, it wouldn't be surprising to see Messi competing for a seventh Ballon d'Or because the Barcelona skipper is currently rated as the best player in Europe's top five leagues.

His average match rating of 8.44 is practically unassailable on WhoScored.com and underlines the real possibility that he might have regained his status as the world's best player.

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Robert Lewandowski and Ronaldo will be hot on his heels, don't get us wrong, but there's no denying that Messi has blown off the cobwebs that we saw at the start of the season.

And although plenty of fans will point out that 'it's only Alaves', you can only beat what's in front of you and boy did Messi give them a beating.

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