Messi has now scored 19 free kicks in the last four years - which is more than any team's total in Europe's top five leagues - after netting two against Espanyol in Cornella-El Prat to take his goal tally for the season to 17.
Lionel Messi celebrates against Espanyol (Joan Monfort/AP).
Messi came up with a piece of magic as he stumbled to the ground before getting up to play a defence-splitting pass to Ousmane Dembele, who curled into the top corner. "If you ask me, 'Was he better than Messi?' Yes, he was".
The skipper quickly turned provider by teeing up strike partner Luis Suarez inside the box, but Lopez quickly came off his line to block the effort.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates. Albert Gea Reuters
The Argentine bagged two impressive free-kicks as the LaLiga champions thumped Espanyol on Saturday evening.
The Barca captain, playing in this fixture for a joint-record 32nd time, beat Diego Lopez with a flawless free-kick from 25 yards that curled away from the goalkeeper's despairing dive.
Leo Baptistao was introduced in the 60th minute as Espanyol looked for a route back into the match, but Barcelona continued to resist the pressure, with Ter Stegen not having too much to do.
After a slow start to the second half, Barca were pinned back early on with a few half-chances. Messi's shot was struck just as perfectly at the first one, curling over the wall and into the top corner.
The perfectly struck set-piece goals capped another brilliant performance by Messi, who got past defenders easily and effortlessly put his teammates in a position to score.
Baptistao then headed into the arms of Ter Stegen in the final moments as the match ended 4-0, with Barcelona far too strong for their rivals on the night.
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