Lionel Messi opens Barcelona’s Champions League marketing campaign with a hat trick


Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scored the first goal of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League group stage on a beautiful free kick. (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta)
Barcelona’s Lionel Messi scored the primary purpose of the 2018/19 UEFA Champions League group stage on a gorgeous free kick. (EFE/Enric Fontcuberta)

Lionel Messi opened the brand new UEFA Champions League season in type on Tuesday, scoring a hat trick — together with one from a shocking free kick —  in Barcelona’s 4-0 win over PSV Eindhoven.

Messi first purpose was additionally the primary of the 2018-19 competitors due to a format change that options staggered kickoff occasions. The curling, left-footed strike got here within the thirty first minute on the Camp Nou, after Barca’s Ousmane Dembele was hacked down by PSV defender Nick Viergever. Goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet didn’t come anyplace near stopping Messi’s excellent shot:

Dembele would double the hosts’ lead within the 74th minute, scoring on a sensible particular person play. However Messi — who else? — would add two extra objectives earlier than the match was over.

Messi’s objectives had been his 101th, 102nd and 103rd within the Champions League, second solely to former Actual Madrid striker Cristiano Ronaldo. He managed simply six objectives in final season’s match. However the hat trick was his eighth all-time, yet another than Ronaldo.

Messi and Barcelona want to break Spanish rival Actual’s three-year stranglehold on the Champions League trophy this season. Ronaldo, who has 120 Champions League objectives, left Madrid for Italian titan Juventus earlier this summer season. Barca final received Europe’s prime membership competitors in 2015.

Doug McIntyre covers soccer for Yahoo Sports activities. Observe him on Twitter @ByDougMcIntyre.

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