Barcelona star Lionel Messi focused on group supremacy

Lionel Messi Barcelona Champions League

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Lionel Messi insisted that his main aim is to ensure Barcelona progress into the last-16 of the Champions League as Group F winners, despite his hat-trick at APOEL on Tuesday night making him the tournament’s all-time leading scorer.

The 27-year-old Argentina international moved on to 74 goals – three ahead of previous record holder Raul – in Europe’s top competition after his treble added to Luis Suarez’s first official goal for the club since his big-money switch from Liverpool in the summer.

“It’s really beautiful to achieve this record in such a wonderful competition,” Messi told the Barca website. “But the most important thing is the win. We played a great game.”

The 4-0 win in Cyprus was not enough for Barca to usurp Paris Saint-Germain at the top of the group standings following their 3-1 win against Ajax in Paris on Tuesday.

The big-spending French outfit travel to the Nou Camp on December 10 one point ahead of the hosts and Messi wants the win which will take Luis Enrique’ s men through to the knockout stages on top.

“It’s going to be a very difficult game,” Messi said. “We know they have very good players, we know them.

“They are growing as a team and each time they are much stronger.

“But we will play at home and we have to do a good game in order to finish first.

“We are Barca and we will try to achieve our initial aim which is to win everything.

“We must remain on this path.”

Barca return to domestic action on Sunday and face a tricky La Liga trip to Valencia, where they are 1.54 to win. The hosts are 5.44 and the draw is 4.22.

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