Lionel Messi presented his fifth Ballon d'Or to the Nou Camp on the pitch before the game and then scored the penalty that set Barcelona on their way to a 6-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday night.
He then failed to come back out for the second half after complaining of muscle problems at half time but Barca saw off their 10-man opponents without him and the club say his substitution was precautionary.
His second half absence was just a further chance for Neymar and Luis Suarez to shine. The Uruguayan scored a hat-trick making him top scorer in La Liga with 18 goals and Neymar was showman supreme lighting up a second half procession for the Champions.
Barcelona maestro Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring from the penalty spot against Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp
The Argentina star slotted home in the seventh minute after Bilbao goalkeeper Iraizoz Moreno had been sent off
Messi marked his fifth Ballon d'Or victory with a seventh minute strike using his famous left foot during the La Liga encounter
Stopper Moreno brought down former Liverpool hitman Luis Suarez in the box, and was dismissed for being the last man
Suarez (right) then set up Neymar (left) for Barca's second in the 31st minute; Ivan Rakitic (second left) congratulates the Brazilian
Messi hugs Neymar (centre) who points at Uruguayan Suarez (right) in appreciation for his clever assist for his goal
While under pressure from Bilbao's right back Eneko Boveda (left), Neymar dinked the ball over the visitor's replacement goalkeeper
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3403987/Barcelona-6-0-Athletic-Bilbao-Luis-Suarez-notches-sensational-hat-trick-Lionel-Messi-Neymar-score-Nou-Camp-rout.html#ixzz4E5T2Z1Zt
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