|The Barcelona player brought his personal record to 234 goals for the club, beating the previous record of 232 [Reuters]
Lionel Messi broke Barcelona's all-time scoring record by scoring a hat trick in the defending Spanish champions' 5-3 win home over Granada.
The 24-year-old Messi fired in a cross by Isaac Cuenca in the 17th minute to match the record of 232 goals set by Cesar Rodriguez 57 years ago, and then added two more after halftime to take his career tally for Barcelona to 234 goals.
"He is defining an era. He is the best," Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdez said of his teammate.
Barcelona previously believed that Cesar had scored 235 goals in 13 seasons between 1942-1955. But after a thorough review by the club and La Vanguardia newspaper, Cesar's tally was lowered by three goals.
Messi needed just under eight seasons to reach Cesar's milestone.
The Argentina international has scored 154 goals in the Spanish league, 49 in the Champions League, 19 in the Copa del Rey, eight in the Spanish Supercup, four in the Club World Cup and one in the European Supercup.
Messi, the three-time world player of the year, has scored 54 goals in all competitions this season, including a Champions League-record five goals in one game just under two weeks ago.
Source: Associated Press