Skip to main content

'Caviar' Lionel Messi, Barcelona thrash Rayo Vallecano in Spain

updated 6:46 PM EST, Sat February 15, 2014
Only two players have scored more goals in the Spanish league than Lionel Messi.
Only two players have scored more goals in the Spanish league than Lionel Messi.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lionel Messi becomes the third leading scorer in the Spanish league
  • Messi nets twice in Barcelona's 6-0 rout over Rayo Vallecano at home
  • Atletico Madrid won earlier Saturday to temporarily go top in La Liga
  • Real Madrid can join Barca and Atletico on 60 points Sunday with a win

(CNN) -- Barcelona put on a sumptuous display against Rayo Vallecano and it was no surprise that Lionel Messi led the way, rewriting the record books in the process.

The four-time world player of the year scored two goals to give him 228 overall in the Spanish league, passing Alfredo di Stefano's mark and placing the Argentine into a tie for third with a man who, like di Stefano, made a name for himself at Real Madrid, Raul.

Barring a serious injury and change of leagues, Messi -- who did miss two months this season with a leg complaint -- is sure to take over top spot from Telmo Zarra. The latter scored 251 goals, 17 more than Hugo Sanchez.

"I'd like to think that Messi still has a bit to go before he's 100 percent fit," Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino told the club website. "If he wants, he'll break any record he sets his mind to.

"He's only 26 years old and he'll lose count (of the records he breaks). Barca enjoy him and Argentina does as well."

Barcelona's awesome display against Vallecano prompted the Catalan club's website to use the word 'caviar' in describing the affair and the free-flowing football on offer served as a warning for Manchester City, which collides with Barca next week in the Champions League.

Messi's goals came in the 38th and 68th minutes at the Camp Nou, with Adriano, Pedro, Alexis Sanchez and the returning Neymar chipping in with the others.

Neymar, the Brazilian whiz, had missed about three weeks with an ankle injury.

"This month has been long," Neymar told reporters. "I was very eager to play."

Despite the ruthless performance, Barcelona can't gain a significant lead over Atletico Madrid.

Madrid earlier Saturday blanked Real Valladolid 3-0 at home, realistically claiming all three points with two goals in the first four minutes. It was relief for Atletico, which had lost three straight games in all competitions.

"It was convenient, fast and what I like is the intensity with which the team went out with," Atletico manager Diego Simeone told the club website.

Barcelona and Atletico each have 60 points, and Real Madrid can join them by winning at Getafe on Sunday.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
updated 11:04 AM EDT, Wed June 4, 2014
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
updated 11:19 AM EDT, Fri May 30, 2014
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
updated 3:24 PM EDT, Mon May 19, 2014
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
ADVERTISEMENT