The Barcelona forward Lionel Messi on Monday praised the dramatic 3-2 Clasico win over arch-rivals, Real Madrid, describing it as an “important step” in the race for the La Liga title.


Messi’s goal marked his 500th for the Spanish giant and made the race for the La Liga title open at Real Madrid on Sunday.


The win gives Barca a lead on the table, with a superior head-to-head history with both sides tied on 75 points, but Madrid have an outstanding match.


“We went to the Bernabeu to win and to continue to fight for La Liga,” the five-time Ballon d’Or winner confidently said on his Facebook page.

“There is still a long way to go, but we left with the joy of having taken an important step,” said Messi, who is the top scorer in La Liga with 31 goals.


The current campaign for title is an avenue for Barcelona winning its third straight La Liga and Spanish Cup double. They have Alaves as the next contender in the Cup final on May 27.

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