Lionel Messi: La Liga's Youngest to 200 Goals Primed for Stellar 2013 Finish

Richard Langford@@noontide34Correspondent IJanuary 27, 2013

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 27:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and CA Osasuna at Camp Nou on January 27, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain. FC Barcelona won 5-1.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
David Ramos/Getty Images

Lionel Messi exploded with a four-goal effort on Saturday in Barcelona's 5-1 win over Osasuna, proving that the legend is not going to sleepwalk to the end of the year.

He is fresh off of winning his fourth straight Ballon d'Or, and his Barcelona team has an 11-point lead in the La Liga table over second-place Atletico Madrid with 17 matches left. 

Messi could easily kick back and give less than 100 percent at this point of his campaign.

The Times of India (via Clarin) passed along this recent quote from MessiIn everything we do in life we try to improve on all fronts and in football I am no exception."

These aren't just hollow words coming from Messi. It is obvious he strives for that ideal. If he didn't, there's no other way he could have put out a performance like he did on Sunday. 

And apparently he's just getting started.

Messi's four-goal outburst not only stole headlines from Cristiano Ronaldo's hat trick from earlier in the day, but it also made Messi the youngest player to ever record 200 goals in La Liga play. The 25-year-old becomes the eighth player in La Liga history to reach the 200-goal plateau, according to ESPN stats and information.

Messi scored his second goal of the match vs. Osasuna Sunday in the 28th minute to give his team a 2-1 lead. Barca was in full control of the match at that point, and they added another score to enter halftime up 3-1. 

They had to be feeling pretty good about their chances at victory at that point, but Messi came out just as determined in the second half, adding two more goals. 

Lionel Messi is at the peak of his extraordinary powers, and he is driven to get the most out of that talent. This is going to lead to even more remarkable things from the legend in 2013.