Ivan Rakitic wants many more goals from Lionel Messi after the Barcelona captain scored a hat-trick in the club’s Champions League rout of PSV.
It was the Messi show at Camp Nou, where the superstar’s treble inspired a 4-0 victory over the Dutch visitors in their Group B opener on Tuesday.
Messi set the tone with a trademark free-kick as the five-time Ballon d’Or winner recorded the 48th hat-trick of his illustrious career and eighth in the Champions League – more than any other player in the competition’s history.
Talking about Messi afterwards, Barca team-mate Rakitic lauded the Argentina international, telling reporters: “That foot is impressive and he has scored another wonderful goal.
“I hope he doesn’t stop and that many more go in.”
Messi led the way for Barca – who ended the match with 10 men following Samuel Umtiti’s red card for a second bookable offence in the 79th minute.
After Messi broke the deadlock courtesy of a set-piece just past the half-hour mark, Ousmane Dembele doubled Barca’s lead 16 minutes from the end.
Messi then took centre stage following Umtiti’s dismissal, scoring twice inside the final 13 minutes.
“This game was tough for us at first, which is normal since this is the Champions League and it’s the first game,” Rakitic said.
“They were very motivated and they have started their league season well. It was a game of good effort, but we can still improve. You can always improve and we look at the small details from every match. We know we’re not 100 per cent.”
LaLiga holders Barca were stunned by Roma in the Champions League quarter-finals last season and Rakitic added: “It’s special and we know that recent years haven’t been the best.
“We must improve and have a lot of desire. But we also want to do everything possible in the league and in the Copa del Rey.”