Lionel Messi is no stranger to getting standing ovations from Barcelona fans, but he was so dominant against Real Betis that even the opposition fans felt compelled to applaud.
SBS The World Game
22 Jan 2018 - 2:15 PM  UPDATED 22 Jan 2018 - 2:15 PM

Messi already had two goals in the 86th minute, and would go on to grab one more assist, but it was his twisting and turning while effortlessly keeping control of the ball in his own half that had the Estadio Benito Villamarin clapping with appreciation. 

Barcelona's number 10 took the ball deep in his own half with Mexican international Andres Guardado right on his back, Messi fainted one way before turning in the opposite direction leaving Guardado scrambling. 

The Argentinian then evaded two more Betis players before nutmegging a recovering Guardado, before going on to pass to his teammate Paulinho. 

Even Guardado seemed to not be overly frustrated with Messi's brilliance as he made sure his son would get a photo with the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Messi would go on to set up Luis Suarez with another signature dribble that attracted four chasing defenders to seal the 5-0 victory in injury time. 

This would be in addition to his own second-half brace, which takes him to 19 goals in La Liga and 25 goals in all competitions this season. 

Betis veteran Joaquin showered Messi with praise after the match, calling him "the best in history".

"Our manager told us before the game he has been planning the whole week how to stop Messi. Yet he ended up with two goals and one assist. No one in the world can stop him. He's the best in history, no doubt," Joaquin said. 

The victory means Barcelona on 54 points is 11 points clear at the top of La Liga with Atletico Madrid in second on 43 points, while arch-rivals Real Madrid are in fourth on 35 points, 19 behind Barca.