VIDEO: Another terrific Lionel Messi free-kick sends Barcelona through

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Lionel Messi continues to raise the bar after more than a decade at the top.

The Barcelona maestro helped the club through to the quarter-finals of the Copa Del Rey with his free-kick in the 3-1 over Athletic Bilbao.

It means that they won the tie 4-3 on aggregate. It also means that Messi has scored free-kicks in three successive matches in 2017. In fact, he’s scored more domestic free-kicks in the first two weeks of 2017 than Cristiano Ronaldo has since 2015. Wow.

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With the tie in the balance after Barcelona goals from Luis Suarez and Neymar and an Athletic goal by Enric Saborit, Messi stepped up to decide who would go through in the 78th minute. Having put his previous two successful efforts to the goalkeeper’s right, he changed his approach here. Gorka Iraizoz was preparing for a top corner effort but was caught off guard by the low shot to his left.

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Gerard Pique created a gap in the wall for Messi’s shot to travel through and it went in off the post. With that goal, Messi equalled Ronald Koeman’s free-kick record. Both have now scored 26 for Barcelona.

Don’t bet against Messi breaking it against Las Palmas on Saturday.

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