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To 50 … and beyond? Lionel Messi hits half-century mark for La Liga season

May 5, 2012, 8:45 PM EDT

You’re taking this very personal. Tom, this is business and this man is taking it very, very personal.

So said Sonny Corleone to Tom Hagen as the jaw-wired Mike suggested the Turk and dirty police commissioner had to go. And if you squint and stare for long enough, Lionel Messi sure looks like a young Al Pacino (if a little more Tony Montana than Michael Corleone):

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Of course, Mike eventually got his way, and today, Leo got his. Again.

With four goals in today’s Barcelona derby against Espanyol, Lionel Messi is now on 50 for the La Liga season, 72 in all-competitions.

In the three games since Barcelona was shown out of Champions League, Messi’s been as hyped as a movie drug lord protecting his last pile of coke. Taking all the talk about not stepping up against Chelsea and Real Madrid very personally, Messi’s scored nine times in the last seven days.

Here’s today’s insanity. For those wondering, “only” 10 of his Liga goals have come from the spot.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a 50th goal than recognizing the man who constructed the team around you. After converting his second penalty of the day, Messi runs over to thank Pep Guardiola (who looked thoroughly un-entertained on the first goal).

Also, note Messi’s eyes in the replay of the first penalty kick conversation. Right has his plant leg hits the ground, he looks up to see where the `keeper’s going.

If I tried that, I’d miss either miss the ball entirely or John Terry it, but any coach that wants me to take a penalty kick deserves what they get.

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