MAgical Messi hits 600th career goal

Barcelona Super star Lionel Messi struck a remarkable 600th professional goal for club and country on Sunday by scoring the opener in his side’s Liga clash at home to nearest challengers Atletico Madrid, Reuters reports. The Argentine slammed a free kick right into the near top corner in the 26th minute to break the deadlock in the top-of-the-table clash and put league leaders Barca 1-0 up at halftime, scoring from a set piece for the third game running. Messi is the leading scorer in La Liga this season with 24 goals and is also the all-time top marksman in Spain’s top flight. He is also the top scorer in the history of Barcelona and Argentina.

That proved to be the only goal of the game at the Nou Camp and a fitting way to settle the top-of-the-table encounter as Barca moved a significant step closer to reclaiming the Spanish title. Ernesto Valverde's men are now eight points clear of Atletico and a massive 15 points above defending champions Real Madrid in third. With only 11 games to go after this round and Barca have only lost once in 42 competitive games since the start of their league campaign, and it looks like it would take something remarkable for the Blaugrana to now be denied the title. At the other end of the table, it was not such a good day for Levante and their coach Juan Ramon Lopez Muniz, who was sacked in the wake of their agonising 1-1 home draw with Espanyol. Levante midfielder Jose Morales looked to have earned the hosts a precious three points, converting a 55th-minute penalty after Marc Navarro pulled down Erick Cabaco.

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