Leo Messi got a hat-trick against Atlético in the 2010/11 season / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

FC Barcelona face Atlético Madrid on Sunday at the Camp Nou at 9.00pm (CET). And it’s a fixture that has traditionally brought out the very best in Leo Messi.

He has scored no fewer than twelve goals against Atlético at the Camp Nou in the last seven league campaigns. Since the 2007/08 season, the Argentinian only failed to find the target once, the 1-1 draw on final day of the competition last year. Curiously, this was also the only occasion that Barça didn’t win – so if Messi scores against the ‘mattress-makers’, then there’s also a very good chance that his team will take all three points.

Six seasons of goals

From 2007/08 to 2012/13, FC Barcelona not only beat Atlético at the Camp Nou, but also did so by a considerable margin, and they very much had Messi to thank for his contributions. He scored in both 2007/08 and 2008/09 (3-0 and 6-1), and got two in 2009/10 and 2012/13 (5-2 and 4-1).

But in two especially outstanding displays, 2010/11 and 2011/12 (3-0 and 5-0), Messi claimed hat-tricks against the red-and-whites. On Sunday he has another chance to further his tremendous record against the current league champions.