Lionel Messi was hailed as the “greatest player of all time” by football fans following his first-half hat-trick for Barcelona against Eibar on Saturday. The Argentine ran riot at Camp Nou as he tore apart the relegation candidates in a superb showing in the opening 45 minutes.
Messi’s first goal took the breath away of supporters with a perfectly-timed nutmeg setting him through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, who he slotted past calmly.
That 14th-minute strike set the tone for a dominant afternoon on the sun-kissed Catalan stadium with Messi then notching twice more before the half-time whistle.
As the diminutive forward revelled in his excellence, posts flooded in on Twitter declaring that Messi is superior to Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Deep down inside their dark hearts, Ronaldo fans know Messi is the Greatest Player Of All Time [GOAT],” one on-looker tweeted.
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“Ronaldo watching Messi score a Hatrick that doesn’t involve any Penalty or Tap ins,” posted another viewer, who attached a GIF of someone looking worried.
Citing the nutmeg, one fan wrote: “The last time Ronaldo scored a goal like messi’s first goal today cristiano jr wasn’t even born.”
Another supporter of the Barcelona No 10 opined: “Ronaldo has NEVER scored that type of goal btw. This is what seperates Messi from the rest Goat.”
Other tweets were more to the point, such as: “Imagine thinking Ronaldo is better than Messi.”
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“Lionel Messi with an Hattrick… Ronaldo has 24 hours to respond,” another user cheekily said.
The ongoing war between Messi and Ronaldo fan accounts was stoked by one tweet.
“First half hat trick for #messi Goat, the ronaldo fan accounts are crying,” it read.
Another Messi mouthpiece rallied: “Ronaldo could never do that. Even against Eibar. The funny thing is, Messi didn’t want a hat trick.”
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And yet another provocative fan tweeted: “Messi first half hatrick but Ronaldo scores a pen after a disasterclass and his fans will claim best player in the world.”
Messi praised Ronaldo earlier in the week during an interview with Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo.
Ronaldo has scored 24 goals in all competitions and is set to win Serie A’s golden boot while Messi had 18 before the weekend.
“It’s normal that he continues to score, he is a predatory striker,” Messi said of his long-term Ballon d’or rival.
“He loves to score, any day he plays he will score. He has many good attributes as a forward and at the minimum he converts.”
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