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Messi scores 4 goals to pass 200 in La Liga

Posted: January 28, 2013 - 1:06am
Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, right, kicks the ball to goal in front Osasuna's Miguel Flano, center, and goalkeeper Andres Fernandez, during their Spanish League soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Barcelona won the match 5-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)  Alvaro Barrientos
Alvaro Barrientos
Barcelona's Lionel Messi from Argentina, right, kicks the ball to goal in front Osasuna's Miguel Flano, center, and goalkeeper Andres Fernandez, during their Spanish League soccer match, at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013. Barcelona won the match 5-1. (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi scored four goals to become the youngest player to pass the 200-mark in the Spanish league and set a La Liga record with goals in 11 consecutive games, leading Barcelona to a 5-1 rout of Osasuna on Sunday night.

With his 22nd hat trick for Barcelona and fifth game of four goals or more, Messi increased his La Liga total to 202 goals in 235 games. The 25-year-old became the eighth player to reach 200, joining Telmo Zarra (251), Hugo Sanchez (234), Raul Gonzalez (228), Alfredo di Stefano (227), Cesar Rodriguez (223), Quini (219) and Pahino (210). Zarra had been the youngest to reach 200, achieving the feat when he was 29.

Messi has 44 goals this season, including 33 in La Liga. He has scored in his last 16 starts overall and in a record 11 consecutive La Liga games, breaking the old mark of 10 he tied last season. Mariano Martin (1942-43 to 1943-44) and Brazil’s Ronaldo (1996-97) also scored in 10 straight matches, both for Barcelona.

Barcelona hosts Real Madrid on Wednesday in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals.

“We went out there and took care of business like always,” Messi said. “It was important to put the game away because it isn’t easy when everyone is talking so much about the ‘clasico’.”

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 20th career hat trick in an 11-minute span to lead defending champion Real Madrid over Getafe 4-0. Ronaldo has 302 goals over 499 club games in all competitions for Sporting Lisbon (2002-03), Manchester United (2003-09) and Real Madrid (since 2009).

Barcelona (19-1-1) reopened an 11-point lead over second-place Atletico Madrid (15-3-2), which lost 3-0 at Athletic Bilbao. Real Madrid (13-4-4) trails Barcelona by 15 points.

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