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Leo Messi waves to the Barça faithful following his team's 5–4 win over Sevilla. / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

It is mere coincidence that Lionel Messi's surname and the award he won on Tuesday, the MVP, begin with the same letter. Nevertheless, it didn't take a genius to name the Barça striker as the man of the match, crowning him the best player in Tuesday's UEFA Super Cup Final in Tbilisi after yet another dazzling exhibition.

"We are delighted to start the season with this win, but it was tough," Messi said following the game.

Messi scored two free-kick goals in a single game for the first time in his career in less than a quarter of an hour to help Barça erase an early deficit. The two goals give Messi 18 career direct kick goals.

He also now has three goals in the competition, equalling the likes of Radamel Falcao, Oleg Blojin, Gerd Müller, Rob Rensenbrink and François van der Elst.

24 goals against Sevilla

Sevilla have long been one of Messi's favourite victims and have now yielded a total of 24 goals (19 in La Liga, three in the Spanish Super Cup and two in the UEFA Super Cup) to the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.

But goals are not the most important thing to the Argentine. "The most important thing was to win the Super Cup to start well. Now we think of the Spanish Super Cup against Athletic Club," he said.


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