If Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo wanted to lay down markers ahead of the Barcelona v Real Madrid showdown at the Camp Nou on Monday, scoring hat-tricks in their final La Liga games before El Clasico was a typically sublime way to go about it.
Messi and Ronaldo are the two best players on the planet right now. They play weekly at a level most can only dream of, consistently overshadowing the abundance of world-class players who line up as their team-mates and opponents alike.
They are the last two winners of the Fifa World Footballer of the Year award and, despite being far from stereotypical centre-forwards in a positional sense, have each won a European Golden Shoe prize in the last three years. They have scored 27 La Liga goals between them already this term - four more than the next top scorers in the division, Villarreal.