Lionel Messi Hits Hat-Trick Against Ajax in Champions League (GIFs)

Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterSeptember 18, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 14:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Sevilla FC at Camp Nou on September 14, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Anything Cristiano Ronaldo can do, Lionel Messi can do the next day.

Messi hit a hat-trick as FC Barcelona opened their UEFA Champions League campaign with a 4-0 home victory Ajax on Wednesday at the Camp Nou. One day after Ronaldo scored three times in Real Madrid's 6-1 win at Galatasaray, Messi scored in the 22nd, 55th and 75th minutes for Barca.

Gerard Pique added a headed goal for Barca in the 69th minute, and Victor Valdes kept out an Ajax penalty to record a clean sheet. 

Messi's opener came via a free kick in the 22nd minute. With his favored left foot, the Argentina international blasted his set piece past Ajax's wall and into the goal at the far post.

Messi made it 2-0 in the 55th minute with his second goal of the match.

Sergio Busquets played Messi in on the right. Messi cut back into the middle, putting the ball on his favored left foot before blasting into the net. 

The Argentine completed his hat-trick in the 75th minute, scoring Barcelona's fourth with a fine low shot.

With the goals, Messi set yet another goalscoring record.