Leo Messi vgot the second against Athletic at Mestalla / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

The Barça squad are all experts in playing finals, and the next one is the Spanish Cup Final against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou. And if there is any one player who tends to flourish when it comes to playing the Basques in cup finals, then that man is Leo Messi.

The highest goalscorer in Barça history scored in the 2009 and 2012 cup finals against Bilbao, in both cases the second goal of the match, and on Saturday he’ll be looking to make it three in row.

On 13 May 2009 at Mestalla, Toquero put the Basques in front from a corner, but on the half hour Touré Yaya pulled level with a fine individual effort before Messi put the Catalans ahead just after the break. Bojan and Xavi then extended the lead to the eventual 4-1 as the side managed by Guardiola marched on to the treble, and ended the year with an unprecedented six titles.

Three year later, in 2011/12, the two sides met again in the final, this time at the Vicente Calderón in Madrid. Barça once again lifted the trophy, this time after winning 3-0. Pedro put them ahead after just two minutes, and in the 20th minute Messi collected a pinpoint pass from Iniesta and struck the ball past Gorka Iraizoz. Moments later Pedro got his second the evening and for the 26th time Barça would be collecting the Copa del Rey trophy.

Three years on and Barça and Leo Messi are once again set to meet in the showpiece occasion of the Spanish football season – just one week before they face Juventus in the Champions League Final in Berlin.

Los goles de Messi contra el Athletic en las... por fcbarcelona
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