Lionel Messi wins La Liga Player of the Month award

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Lionel Messi has been named Spain’s La Liga Player of the Month for January – the first time he has won the monthly award.

The award has been given out since the beginning of the 2013/14 Primera Division season, but the five-time FIFA Ballon d’Or winner had not won it until now.

The Barcelona forward finally came out on top at the 23rd time of asking, after scoring six goals in as many league games in January.

Messi struck a hat-trick against Granada as well as scoring in victories over Athletic Bilbao, Malaga and Atletico Madrid to take his total of league goals for the season to 12.

Remarkably, Messi is only the second Barcelona player to win the award, following Neymar’s success in November.

Cristiano Ronaldo has landed the gong twice since it began in September 2013, as have Atletico pair Diego Godin and Antoine Griezmann and Real Sociedad striker Carlos Vela.

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