Messi's New Record and the Top 5 Players from Around the World This Weekend

Ryan BaileyFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2014

Messi's New Record and the Top 5 Players from Around the World This Weekend

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    Manu Fernandez/Associated Press

    Lionel Messi might have broken more records than most of us have had hot dinners, but the diminutive Argentine broke a particularly significant one on Sunday when he became Barcelona's all-time leading scorer.

    The Atomic Flea leads our list of the top five players from around the world, which includes an Englishman on the coast, an Englishman across the pond and an Italian midfield maestro... 

Lionel Messi

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    Cristiano Ronaldo may have bagged his 39th goal of the season in emphatic style this weekend, but his arch-rival, Leo Messi, was on record-breaking form for Osasuna's visit to the Nou Camp. 

    The Argentine scored his 25th hat-trick for the Blaugrana in the 7-0 win, giving him 18 goals in 21 league games in this campaign.

    More significantly, it was his 371st goal for the club, making him their all-time highest scorer. Previously, Paulino Alcantara held this honour with a tally of 369 strikes.  

Rickie Lambert

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    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    With Roy Hodgson watching from the stands, Rickie Lambert probably wasn't best pleased to start Southampton's match with Aston Villa on the bench.

    However, as soon as the journeyman striker was put into the game in the 52nd minute, he made sure the England manager went home with a positive impression.

    Less than 60 seconds after stepping onto the field, the former beet factory worker found the net. And 15 minutes later, he set up fellow World Cup hopeful Jay Rodriguez for Southampton's third goal of the afternoon in a match that finished 4-2 to the Saints. 

    After this superb display, Lambert's league goal tally stands at nine from 29 appearances. 

Jermain Defoe

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    Earlier this week, Jermain Defoe insisted he could still be considered for England's World Cup squad, despite moving to Canada to play in MLS. 

    The 31-year-old made sure he was doing everything possible to stay on Hodgson's radar after scoring twice in the first half of his Toronto FC debut in their 2-1 victory at the Seattle Sounders.

    For his first, he showed his sharpness to beat the last man and slot home, while his second came when he seized upon a woefully misplaced pass.

    If he is given this kind of defence to manipulate every week, Defoe might look forward to a highly prolific season.  

Dimitar Berbatov

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    It was thoroughly tempting to give this spot to The Mighty Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored his fifth Ligue 1 brace of the season in Paris Saint-Germain's 2-0 victory over St. Etienne on Sunday.

    However, at the risk of incurring the Swede's wrath, Dimitar Berbatov is getting the nod for his excellent performance in Monaco's 3-2 win at Lyon.

    Not only did the laid-back Bulgarian set up goals for Valere Germain and James Rodriguez, but he found the net himself in the 52nd minute with the outside of his right foot.

    This was Dimi's second goal in Rouge et Blanc colours, capping a performance in which he also achieved 76 percent pass accuracy, as per WhoScored.com.

Andrea Pirlo

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    Where would Juventus be without Andrea Pirlo?

    The bearded midfield genius kept The Old Lady 17 points clear of the competition in Serie A with one of his trademark, curling free kicks against Genoa. The wonderfully taken dead ball was struck in the 89th minute and was Juve's only shot on target all game, proving that the former Milan star can always be relied upon to rescue his side when they are not at their best. 

    Note how he starts running away as soon as he has struck the ball, as if he knows he can start celebrating... 

     

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