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La Liga belongs to Lionel Messi after 600th career goal
[Bild: skysports-lionel-messi-barcelona-girona_...0224213548]

The Argentine netted the only goal in Barcelona's 1-0 win against Atletico Madrid to send them eight points clear at w88 mobile the top of the table, with Messi continuing to break records.

Elsewhere, third-placed Real Madrid picked up a 3-1 win against Getafe, but they are being closely chased by Valencia, who themselves beat Real Betis 2-0 on Sunday. Balague discusses this and more in his review of the weekend's action...

The first point to make from the weekend is Messi, of course. This is yet again Messi's league. He scored his 600th goal as a professional and over 1,000 since he first started playing football but nobody knows exactly how many. I know people who are working to try and find out the exact numbers but it is 600 since he became a professional.

He has been at this level for 13 years, not just a few months here and there - and it is not just about scoring goals, it is about assisting as well. On Sunday, it was about managing the game from the midfield. He also worked very hard without the ball, he recovered six balls. It's a World Cup year, so the sooner they have the league wrapped up, the sooner they can focus on other stuff.

There is another side to this of course, you have to wonder how Barcelona have only online slots malaysia won four Champions League titles with him in that 13-year period because I don't think there is any doubt in the mind of anybody now that he is not only the best player of his generation, but the best player ever - and he keeps breaking records.

It was his third consecutive free-kick in three games, and something my friend Mister Chip said on the internet, not even Ronald Koeman, Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho, Duda, Rivaldo or Cristiano Ronaldo - all of those guys who are specialists in free-kicks - have been able to do it before. The percentage of goals going in for the top free-kick specialists is about seven per cent, so it makes it even more special that he's been able to do it in three consecutive games.

There are a couple of things that tell you how he has been preparing for these free-kicks. When he first arrived at Barcelona, he used to sit on the sidelines and watch Ronaldinho and Deco taking them and then, when nobody was around, he would do it himself without boots because he felt he could control the ball better in bare feet.

But then in 2009 in a training session in Marseille, Diego Maradona gave him more advice. He took some free-kicks and they either went too high or too far down the sides. The Argentina physical coach at the time was Fernando Signorini, who I spoke to a few times when I did the Messi book. He recently told a story about Messi going to the changing rooms having done so badly and Maradona said ,'Where are you going? Wait, I'll tell you the thing to do. You don't have to release the foot so early, otherwise the ball doesn't get to know what you want. You have to treat the ball as if you are talking to it. You deposit 138bet have to cushion the kick, not just kick it without thinking and in that way, the ball will respond to you better.' That was Maradona's advice and it seems to have worked.

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