Lionel Messi

La Liga: 3 Things We Learned as Lionel Messi's Hat-trick Helps Barcelona Beat Real Mallorca 5-2

Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo's La Liga hat-trick record as Barcelona thumped Real Mallorca 5-2 to reclaim the top spot atop the Liga table. 

Messi's sons lifted his sixth Ballon d'Or in the pre-match build-up and then watched their dad score his 35th La Liga hat-trick. The first half saw five goals being scored. Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring for the hosts, and it wasn't long before Messi got his first of the game. 

Ante Budimir got one back for the visitors but Messi and Luis Suarez extended Barca's lead just before the break. Budimir got his second after the break, but Messi wasn't done yet. An 83-minute strike saw the maestro fire the ball into the roof of the net following a neat cross from Suarez.

Here are three things we learned as Barcelona beat Real Mallorca 5-2 at Camp Nou.

3. Marc-Andre ter Stegen was Incredible for Barcelona

It's easy to see why Marc-Andre ter Stegen was frustrated at the lack of playing time with Germany. He is, without a doubt, one of the best keepers in the world. His reflexes, the way he handles the ball, and he exudes a commanding aerial presence that makes him a joy to watch in goal.

Ter Stegen showed the full range of his abilities when he quickly found Griezmann with a pin-point diagonal ball from his box, totally bypassing the midfield and leaving the Frenchman with only Pepe Reina to beat.

Incredibly, this was his second assist of the season, as earlier in the campaign, he had also played in Luis Suarez in almost similar circumstances in the 2-0 victory over Getafe back in September.

2. Ante Budimir was Mallorca's Best Player

Real Mallorca were proper underdogs coming into this match, and no one would've banked on them to score, much less score two away goals. Prior to this, Mallorca failed to find the net in four of their away matches, but Ante Budimir was in fine form last night.

Two goals on either side of half-time, and Budimir was well on his way to picking up a hat-trick of his own. Watford loanee Cucho Hernandez and Real Madrid loanee Take Kubo combined to create a possible third, but a strong one-armed save from Ter Stegen denied Budimir from what would have been a stellar goal.

1. No Messi, No Party

Messi scored a last-minute goal to give Barca the win against Atletico Madrid last Monday, and a day later, he created history by becoming the first man in history to win six Ballon d'Ors. In a game that was eventful and full of drama, it was fitting that Messi had the last say in the match.

Remarkably, the goal means that Lionel Messi scored his second La Liga hat-trick of the season and 53rd of his career, placing him just one behind his illustrious rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

3 Things We Learned as Lionel Messi Scores a Hat-trick as Barca Down Real Mallorca 5-2