Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has hailed skipper Lionel Messi, after he netted a hat trick in their 4-1 La Liga win over Real Betis.
It was his second hat trick in his last four La Liga games for the Argentina international, which takes his tally up to 29 in league action so far this season, however it was his all round performance that saw him applauded off by both sets of fans at full time, and Valverde echoed the praise of the 31 year-old.
"We are all very fortunate to be living at a time when Messi is playing his football.
"Tonight we have seen how the public reacts when Messi is on the field.
"Even though he made them suffer tonight, the reaction (of the Real Betis fans) shows how theyy enjoy watching him play."
Valverde also called for caution surrounding their title defence, despite opening up a ten point lead on second place Atletico Madrid, with ten games remaining in 2018-19.