Lionel Messi’s inspirational form through February has seen the Barcelona captain collect his first Player of the Month award of the season.
February was Messi’s most fruitful month of the 2020-21 campaign to date as he scored seven goals, two more than he managed in January.
No player scored more than him, while Real Sociedad’s Alexander Isak was the only other individual to net more than four times in the month.
Messi’s goalscoring habits helped Barca win four of their five games in the qualifying period, all of which saw him score at least once.
As such, Barca have improved their chances of potentially sparking a genuine title scrap in the final months of the season, with the Blaugrana only five points adrift of the leaders Atletico Madrid.
While Diego Simeone’s men do still have a game in hand, Los Colchoneros also have the tricky test of a derby clash with Real Madrid to look forward to this weekend.
Messi’s commitment to the cause was questioned earlier in the campaign after he rocked the club in pre-season with his transfer request.
He had only scored four times heading into December, when he added a further three – he already has 12 in 2021 and sits atop the ‘Pichichi’ standings with 19, three clear of nearest rival and friend Luis Suarez.
Messi is only the second Barcelona player to win the award this term, with Ansu Fati – who has missed much of 2020-21 through injury – claiming it for September.
Ronald Koeman’s captain saw off competition from Isak, Yassine Bounou, Thibaut Courtois, Alex Berenguer, Nabil Fekir and Jose Luis Morales to win the prize.
Leo Messi in February…
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) March 5, 2021