London: Lionel Messi capped off a spectacular year for Barcelona on a high note by scoring in his 500th appearance for the Catalan club and helping them claim a 4-0 win over Real Betis.
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi kicks the ball during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Real Betis Balompie at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. Pic/AFP
The Argentine talisman scored Barca's second goal after an own goal by Heiko Westermann put the Catalan side ahead in the 29th minute. The goal was his 425th for the club.
Subsequently, Luis Suarez scored twice after half-time to surpass Neymar as the competition's leading scorer with 15, the Guardian reported.
The 4-0 win has also taken Barca's season tally to 180, taking over from Real Madrid's milestone mark of 178 in 2014.
Barca are leading on goal difference from Atletico Madrid, who claimed a 2-0 win over city rivals Rayo Vallecano.