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Messi back with a bang for Barcelona

By Steve Simpson

Lionel Messi must have been inspired by the big headlines his rival as the world's best player has been making recently.

The Argentinian has been kicking his heels while Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo took the plaudits, especially after scoring his 400th career goal.

But it was Barcelona genius Messi who had everyone talking last night after a stunning return to the Catalans' first team.

Messi, who could win his fifth successive Ballon D'or later this month, scored twice after coming on as a subsitute to help Barca defeat Getafe 4-0 in a Copa del Rey tie at the Nou Camp.

He has been missing since early November with a thigh injury but returned to full-time training for the first time on Monday.

There was significance in the opponents; it was against Getafe that Messi introduced himself to a stunned football world with a Maradona-style wonder goal back in 2007.

Barca boss Gerardo Martino said: "It's great to have Leo back. He gives us all a boost of confidence. With him at our side, we all feel more secure."

Barcelona had gone 2-0 ahead with a Cesc Fabregas brace before Messi's brilliant cameo.

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