By ISLAM SABULINO.

(News Of The South) – The Argentine maestro Lionel Messi scored a hat-trick in the derby against Espanyol on Sunday to pass 400 strikes for Barcelona.

Barcelona came from a goal down, thanks to a Messi leveller with a stunning goal from outside the box which curled low into the bottom corner to bring Barca into the game.That was the Argentine’s 400th goal in a Blaugrana jersey.

Messi, 27, now has netted 372nd official Barcelona goals and his 28 attained in friendlies meant he had reached a new milestone as he become the only player to score 400 goals in a Spanish team.

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner put Barca ahead with a good finish in the second half to make it 401 in 486 appearances for the Blaugrana.

He also drew level with Cesar Rodriguez on 11 strikes against city rivals Espanyol therefore becoming the derby’s all-time scorer with his third later in the game as he dribbled past several barriers, then passes the ball to Pedro hefore slotting home the return pass with a wonder finish.

Defender Gerard Pique and midfielder Pedro were also on target for Barcelona in their 5-1 come from behind trouncing of Espanyol at Camp Nou.

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