Barcelona forward Lionel Messi set a La Liga scoring record of 253 goals when he netted a hat-trick in the 5-1 win at home to Sevilla.

Forward Messi, 27, equalled the record in the 21st minute with a typically breathtaking strike, curling a left-footed shot around the wall and past Sevilla goalkeeper Beto into the net.

He struck again from close range in the 72nd minute and scored a third six minutes later with a powerful low drive from the edge of the penalty area.

His Barca team mates picked him up and threw him into the air several times while his adoring fans at the Nou Camp wildly cheered their talisman, who joined the club's academy at the age of 13.

The four-times World Player of the Year has scored 206 goals with his favoured left foot, 38 with his right, eight with his head and one, which should have been ruled out, with his hand.

The previous record has been held by former Athletic Bilbao striker Telmo Zarra since 1955, which marked the end of the Spaniard's 15-year career with the Basque club.

Zarra scored his 251 goals in 277 appearances, while Argentina captain Messi needed 289 games.

He matched former Real Madrid and Schalke 04 forward Raul's Champions League scoring record of 71 goals last month.

Elsewhere, Cristiano Ronaldo struck twice as leaders Real Madrid subdued Eibar 4-0.

Mid-table Eibar, whose entire squad is worth roughly as much as Ronaldo's annual wages of $24.8 million, created several scoring chances but were outclassed by Real's galaxy of superstars.

The latest victory put the world's richest club by income two points clear at the top with 30 points from 12 matches during which they have amassed 46 goals, 20 of them coming from Ronaldo in 11 appearances.

Atletico Madrid climbed into third spot above Valencia, who play at city rivals Levante on Sunday, after midfielder Tiago scored one goal and created another for Diego Godin in a 3-1 win for the champions at home to Malaga.

Source: Reuters