Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has hailed Lionel Messi's goal-scoring return in the Catalans' 4-0 win over Getafe on Wednesday.
Messi had not played since November 10 due to a hamstring injury but shook off any signs of rustiness with a brilliant three-minute period at the end of Barcelona's 4-0 win over Getafe in their Copa del Rey round of 16 first leg at the Camp Nou.
The 26-year-old forward tapped in Barcelona's third goal of the game in the 90th minute, before unleashing a free-kick less than a minute later, which hit the side netting.
Messi then capped off his comeback appearance with an archetypal driving run down the right and thumping finish in the second minute of second-half stoppage time.
"Obviously Lionel Messi's career could be used as film script, it would make the perfect story for a cinema," Martino said after the match.
"When people think Lionel Messi is not at his best, when he's coming back from injury we bring him on and only needs two or three minutes to do what he did.
"What you saw today is just a brief reflection of what he has done so far here at Barcelona and what makes him so good."
But while Messi's cameo was on everyone's lips after the Copa del Rey clash, Martino was unequivocal in who he considered to be the man of the match.
"I felt that Cesc Fabregas was the best player in the pitch today," the 51-year-old coach said of the attacking midfielder who struck Barcelona's first two goals against Getafe.
"His performance has meant that I have a problem for Saturday and you all know what this problem with be as I finally have all my attackers fit for selection for the game."
Barcelona will travel to Atletico Madrid on Saturday for a top of the table clash in La Liga with both teams on 49 points.
Atletico have been the surprise story of the 2013-14 season in Spain but Martino remains confident his team can match Diego Simeone's side.
"We are playing good football, the ball circulation was fast (versus Getafe), we didn't let them organise," Martino said.
"We had control of the match and this is because we're going through our best form so far this season."
|Coach: G. Martino|
for Iniesta 64'
for A. Sánchez 75'
for Fàbregas 81'
|Perth Glory 3 Melbourne Victory 3: Leaders stage two-goal late comeback|
|Neymar: Barca have no interest in Real results|
|Milan defender Mexes apologises for red card|
|South Korea v Iraq: Strange lead-up for Shenaishil´s men|
|Lazio´s Djordjevic thanks well-wishers ahead of ankle surgery|
|Iran´s Asian Cup appeal dismissed by AFC|
|Cech urges Chelsea to clean up FA Cup exit ´mess´|
|Henderson: Liverpool are up for the cup|
|Edimar wants ´normal´ ban for Real star Ronaldo|
|Pellegrini defends misfiring City strikers|
|Australia ready for UAE - Sainsbury|
|Blanc takes positives from past|
|Inzaghi promises ´something different´ at Milan|
|Mexes sorry for seeing red|
|La Liga Review: Wins for top three|
|Vitoria Guimaraes 2 Gil Vicente 2: Last-gasp penalty salvages point for hosts|
|Simeone marvels at Griezmann impact|
|Djordjevic to have x-ray on ankle problem|
|Eredivisie Review: PSV go seven points clear, Heerenveen cruise|
|Luis Enrique backs himself on Suarez omission|
|Lazio 3 Milan 1: Parolo and Klose seal victory|
|Cameroon 1 Guinea 1: Draw ensures Group D stays finely poised|
|Rodgers reveals Sturridge fitness boost after Bolton stalemate|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Rayo Vallecano 1: Griezmann inspires routine win|
|Gabriel move agreed, Campbell to join Villarreal on loan|
|Gabon v Equatorial Guinea: Neighbours face off for quarter-final berth|
|FA Cup Review: Chelsea stunned by Bradford as Middlesbrough beat Manchester City|
|Ronaldo apologises for red card|
|Pulis eyes room for improvement|
|Liverpool 0 Bolton Wanderers 0: Championship side frustrate Anfield to earn replay|
|Karanka hails players after stunning City|
|Elche 0 Barcelona 6: Neymar and Messi inspire resounding win|
|League Two Review: Wycombe and Burton held, Shrewsbury up to second|
|Pardew lauds Palace performance|
|Pochettino laments late collapse|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic stretch lead, Inverness and Dundee United keep up chase|
|Parkinson revels in huge upset after humbling Chelsea|
|Bayern targeting unbeaten Bundesliga season - Robben|
|Pearson: FA Cup win can breed confidence|
|League One Review: Dons close gap, Peterborough end run|
|Ivory Coast 1 Mali 1: Gradel rescues Renard´s men|
|Fulham seal Richards loan|
|Pellegrini: UAE trip had no impact|
|Koeman blames defeats on defensive lapses|
|Gundogan injury mars Dortmund preparations|
|Championship Review: Ighalo stars as Blackpool capitulate|
|Chelsea defeat a ´disgrace´ - Mourinho|
|Monk rues missed opportunity|
|Manchester City 0 Middlesbrough 2: Boro stun City with FA Cup shock|
|Chelsea 2 Bradford City 4: League One outfit dump out Premier League leaders|
|Tottenham 1 Leicester City 2: Late turnaround stuns Spurs|
|Cordoba 1 Real Madrid 2: Bale steals late win as Ronaldo sees red|
|Birmingham City 1 West Brom 2: Anichebe seals derby triumph|
|Southampton 2 Crystal Palace 3: Pardew´s men reach fifth round|
|Sunderland 0 Fulham 0: Defoe fails to fire on home debut|
|Bowyer hails ´terrific´ Blackburn|
|Rochdale v Stoke City: Shawcross in race to be fit for cup clash|
|Blackburn Rovers 3 Swansea City 1: Late goals snatch victory for Championship side|
|Congo v Burkina Faso: Le Roy vows to attack|
|Roma still in race for Scudetto - Garcia|
|Mancini coy on Toure links|
|Mertens rules out Napoli exit|
|Barzagli back in Juve squad|
|A-League Review: Adelaide and Sydney rack up the goals|
|Real have signed a ´diamond´ in Silva, says Oliveira|
|Queiroz: How can Williams sleep at night?|
|Asian Cup history ´the focus´ for Australia - Kruse|
|Pogba could be the world´s ´most expensive´ player|
|Australia international joins Dundee United|
|Real Madrid is a ´dream come true´ - Silva|
|Van Gaal angered by first-half showing in cup stalemate|
|Gourcuff laments ´cruel´ Gyan winner|
|UAE will head into semi-final with confidence, says Ali|
|Nice 2 Marseille 1: High-flyers downed on travels|
|St Johnstone 1 Aberdeen 1: Rooney earns title hopefuls a point|
|Cambridge United 0 Manchester United 0: Money´s men bag dream replay|
|Lucas Silva seals Real switch|
|Twente 2 Heracles 0: Strugglers left to rue Zomer error|
|Grant hails injury-time hero Gyan|
|South Africa 1 Senegal 1: Mbodji header denies Bafana Bafana|
|Red Star 2 Consolat Marseille 0: Allegro and Beziouen book Saint-Etienne tie|
|Parma deny Cassano legal action rumours|
|Ivory Coast v Mali: Renard demands more from captain Toure|
|Birthday boy Robben runs the show in five-goal Bayern romp|
|Saint-Etienne v Paris Saint-Germain: Blanc´s men look to reignite season|
|Ghana 1 Algeria 0: Gyan strikes at the last to boost quarter-final hopes|
|Juventus v Chievo: Llorente knows no let-up in title chase|
|Aston Villa v Bournemouth: Championship leaders in search of upset|
|Hughes rubbishes Bojan speculation|
|Brighton and Hove Albion v Arsenal: Wenger wary of attacking threat|
|Aguirre proud despite Asian Cup elimination|
|Bristol City v West Ham: Allardyce warns Premier League high flyers|
|Cameroon v Guinea: Mbia set for return|
|Inzaghi not fearful of the sack|
|Schalke sign teenager Sivodedov|
|Raiola plans to stand for FIFA presidency|
|Mourinho: Chelsea not planning to buy or sell in January|
|Queiroz praises battling Iran|
|Shenaishil lauds ´leader´ Mahmoud|
|Luis Enrique wary of Elche|
|Leeds confirm Cellino resignation|
|Japan 1 UAE 1 (aet, 4-5 pens): Stars cost champions´ progression|
|Pekerman: Falcao will come good|
|Allardyce awaiting Fletcher decision|
|Rodgers eager to keep Johnson and Lucas|
|Iran 3 Iraq 3 (aet, 6-7 pens): Shakir seals famous victory|
|Agent ´almost certain´ Ronaldo will retire at Real|
|Wenger calls for work permit changes|
|Lazio v Milan: Mauricio hopeful of debut|
|Inter v Torino: D´Ambrosio talks up Mancini impact|
|I was always confident - Benitez|
|Grant takes aim at AFCON organisers|
|Espanyol 3 Sevilla 1: Caicedo´s stunner sets up win|
|Rennes 1 Reims 1 (aet 5-4 on pens): Costil the the hero for last year´s runners-up|
|Napoli 2 Udinese 2 (aet 5-4 on pens): Holders edge through|