Lionel Messi is transcending his own game.
On Tuesday night at the Camp Nou, the stadium in Barcelona where he has grown up, he responded after his team went down a goal to Arsenal in the Champions League by scoring within three minutes.
He then did it again, and again, and again. Four times this little Argentine darted and floated between the Arsenal defense, four times he scored goals that would have been beyond most players.
And he scored four times despite slowing to a walk for long periods. Barça needed to conserve its energy; it has the biggest match in the Spanish calendar, at Real Madrid, on Saturday.
The scoreboard might have read: Messi 4, Arsenal 1.