Leo Messi was the star of Barcelona's 4-1 win at Real Betis on Sunday. The Argentine scored a hat-trick as Barça moved 10 points clear in La Liga.
His performance drew an ovation from the home supporters and speaking to Movistar he thanked the Betis fans: "I honestly don't remember an ovation like that [from rival fans]. I am really grateful, it had never happened to me before. We're always treated well here, beyond the fact we're rivals. It's an important win."
Asked to choose which of his goals was his favourite, Messi added: "I don't know which one I preferred. The goals were important because they allowed us to pick up three more points and take advantage of a really big opportunity after Atletico's result [losing to Athletic]. We couldn't slip up today."
Messi also praised Ernesto Valverde's tactics: "Betis are a side that treat the ball well. But we didn't suffer at all. We were really well organised. Valverde read things well and prepared the game plan well. Tactically it was perfect. Sometimes you have to adapt to the opposition. There are moments and games when that is the case. You have to be prepared for everything."
Despite moving 10 clear at the top, Messi's not counting his chickens: "It depends on us. It's a good advantage but nothing's decided yet. There have been worse situations [than being 10 points clear] but there are still 30 points left to be played for and we have to keep going."