(AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Lionel Messi has yet another reason to be considered among the very best to have played football as he became the Spanish league's all-time leading scorer with 253 on Saturday.
Messi notched a hat trick to lead Barcelona's 5-1 rout of Sevilla and surpass the previous mark of 251 goals that Athletic Bilbao's Telmo Zarra set in 271 La Liga games from 1940-55.
Playing in his 289th league game, the 27-year-old Messi first equaled Zarra's record in the 21st minute and then beat it in the 72nd at Camp Nou Stadium. The Argentine went on to get his treble in the 78th with his 253rd league goal.