27 January 2013: Messi pokers CA Osasuna
Just 11 minutes were played at the Camp Nou on 27 January 2013 when Lionel Messi dummied CA Osasuna keeper Andres Fernandez with a wiggle of his hips before opening the scoring.
Messi then rifled in a penalty and with less than an hour gone had rounded Fernandez again to complete his own hat-trick and put Barça 4-1 ahead. That matched the treble which his personal rival Cristiano Ronaldo had scored inside ten second half minutes in Real Madrid’s LaLiga victory over Getafe CF earlier the same day.
So Messi kept going, and a four goal ‘poker’ was completed late on when he touched home a cross from Brazilian full-back Adriano Correia. Both Messi and Ronaldo were warming up very well for a Copa del Rey El Clasico to come later that same week.
Meanwhile, on 26 January 2000 Real Betis goalkeeper Toni Prats scores a free kick against Real Madrid!
Goalkeepers do score on occasion – perhaps when the wind catches a long hoof forward or after going forward for a set-piece with your team behind and time almost up. But Prats had a much more special skill.
There were six minutes left at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on 26 January 2000, with the score at 2-0 to the home team, when Betis were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Madrid area. Up strode Prats to fire the ball through the defensive wall, and past the dive of opposite number Iker Casillas to the net.
Nobody was even that surprised at the time, as Prats also scored for Betis in a 2-1 LaLiga win over Atletico Madrid the previous October, when his free kick had deflected off the wall and left Atletico keeper Jose Molina flat-footed.