Dec. 16 (UPI) -- Lionel Messi scored three goals in 17 minutes to lead FC Barcelona to a 5-0 win against Levante on Sunday at Estadi Ciutat de Valencia in Valencia, Spain.
The five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored in the 43rd, 47th and 60th minutes of the La Liga affair.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring for the road squad, beating Levante's Oier Olazabal in the 35th minute. Suarez was set up by a brilliant Messi pass during that sequence. Messi dribbled into the right side of the box on the play, before spinning back to his right and lofting a pass in front of Suarez. Suarez finished off the feed by booting in a volley.
Messi's first score came off of a breakaway. He darted down the field before receiving a pass from Sergio Busquets. Messi tracked the pass down and finished with a shot into the far-post netting.
He struck for his second score two minutes after the halftime whistle. Jordi Alba had the assist on that shot, leaving a pass for Messi at the top of the box. Messi ripped a one-touch shot with his left boot, netting a goal at the near-post.
Suarez set up Messi's final score. He fired a pass to the far-post, where Arturo Vidal received the ball before firing a pass back toward the middle. Messi cleaned up the pass by blasting into the net from point-blank range.
Gerard Pique finished off Levante with Barcelona's final tally in the 88th minute. Messi picked up the assist on that score, sending a short pass to Pique inside the box. The defender pocketed a score by blasting a shot past Olazabal after a move around a defender.
Barcelona battles Celta Vigo at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Camp Nou in Barcelona.