Messi-inspired Barcelona recover swagger, cruise to Supercup
Barcelona cruised to the Spanish Supercup on Saturday by thrashing hapless Sevilla 4-0, with a handsome hat-trick from Camp Nou idol Lionel Messi, dpa reported.
Messi left his World Cup blues behind to rediscover his form and smile, confirming his status as the world's greatest player.
Barca picked up the trophy - played over two legs between league champions and cup winners - on a 5-3 aggregate, having lost the first leg 3-1 in Seville.
The triumph will help to dispel doubts raised by Barca's lack of summer signings. The champions have signed only two players - David Villa and Adriano - while rivals Real Madrid have signed six.
New Barca President Sandro Rosell said that he was "very happy to see that we have a great coach, great players and fans."
He added: "I am very optimistic about the coming season after what I have seen tonight."
Barca went ahead after just 15 minutes. Pedro, one of their many World Cup heroes, skipped past three defenders down the right, and his centre was turned into his own goal by defender Abdoulay Konko.
The early goal helped Barca to rediscover their self-esteem and swagger, and 11 minutes later Messi calmly made it 2-0 with his left foot after taking a majestic through-ball from Xavi.
Just before half-time, Messi scored Barca's third goal with his right foot, after a wonderful run and pass from Dani Alves.
The impish Argentine completed his hat-trick two minutes from time after an exquisite move down the left between Villa and Andres Iniesta.
Sevilla rarely managed to get out of their own half and never seemed capable of spoiling the party. The heavy defeat will put them in poor heart ahead of Tuesday's crucial showdown against Sporting Braga in the qualifying round for the Champions League.