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Andres Kudacki/AP/Press Association Images Messi celebrates with his Barcelona team-mates.
# Hat-trick Hero
Messi starts his pre-season with a hat-trick
Three is the magic number for the diminutive Argentinian against Raja Casablanca.

NEW BARCELONA BOSS Tito Vilanova has praised Lionel Messi after the 8-0 thrashing of Morocco’s Raja Casablanca in Tangier on Saturday.

The Argentinian attacker bagged a hat-trick in what was his first pre-season appearance after missing out against Hamburg on Tuesday.

“When you have the best player in the world, with this scoring capacity, he usually makes the difference, and once again he did it,” Vilanova told reporters.

The manager was also keen to heap praise on the Barcelona youngsters.

“The players from the youth side? They always play well. Everyone played at a very high level tonight.”

David Villa has not yet featured for Barca since breaking his leg at the Club World Cup in December 2011, and Vilanova admitted he is unsure when the 30-year-old will play again.

“We are talking about a serious injury, with a long recovery time,” he said.

“When he is fine, we will be delighted to welcome him back.

“He has taken a very big step in the last month.”

Watch highlights from the rout here:

YouTube Credit: HackerShaker2012

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