Valverde: Messi makes the exceptional seem routine

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has praised star forward Lionel Messi after the Argentine scored a hat-trick against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night.

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The Catalans hosted the Eredivisie champions at Camp Nou for the opening Group B game of their UEFA Champions League campaign. They struggled to break PSV down initially, but Messi broke the deadlock in the 31st minute.

Ousmane Dembele doubled the lead in the 74th minute before Messi scored two more goals to complete his hat-trick and cap off a 4-0 victory for the Blaugrana.

“He does extraordinary things and makes them seem routine,” Valverde told the post-match press conference when asked about Messi.

“Today it was three goals, and he unlocked the match with his freekick.

“The strike was masterful and he simply doesn’t tire of scoring hat-tricks.”

He added: “They played well on the counter-attack and we knew it would be difficult to get the first goal. After the second goal we were calmer and found things easier, it’s always difficult to open teams up at first.”