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Arda Turan chirpy after Barcelona treble

"We are Barça – we are the best team in the world," Arda Turan told UEFA.com after his hat-trick in the 4-0 mauling of Borussia Mönchengladbach; Graham Hunter gives praise.

Turan: 'Barcelona are the best team in the world'
Turan: 'Barcelona are the best team in the world'

The evening began with the focus on whether Lionel Messi might equal the record for most goals in a single UEFA Champions League group stage. It ended with Arda Turan confirming that he too is in the most prolific form of his career.

The Turkey midfielder had not registered a hat-trick in eight and a half years, but his treble against Borussia Mönchengladbach means he is averaging a goal every 36.5 minutes in this season's competition: 146 minutes played, four goals, one assist.

Having hit the net twice in the Liga and with a goal every 83 minutes in Barça's Spanish Super Cup win, Arda is demonstrating the efficacy Paco Alcácer craves.

Still awaiting his first strike since joining in the summer, Alcácer made it patently clear how thrilled he was for his team-mate when Arda scored his second, Barça's third, in an elegant performance. Then the Spaniard provided the assist for the hat-trick goal.

The hero of the night told UEFA.com: "We have a good spirit in the group and I'd like to say: 'Thank you, Paco, for the assist!' Honestly, I'd truly like Paco to score more goals than me this season, if that's possible.

"We all work for the team, so if we win we are happy. Who gets the goals is not important to us. We just want to be in contention on the last day of the season for the title, the Champions League and all the other trophies."

Watch Arda's treble for Barcelona
Watch Arda's treble for Barcelona

A UEFA Champions league runner-up in 2014 with Atlético, Arda also teed up Messi for the goal which opened the scoring and which took the Argentinian to within one of Cristiano Ronaldo's group scoring record of 11.

It was Arda's fifth assist of the season in all competitions, marking him down not only as a natural replacement for Neymar – still suspended this weekend – but a serious rival for the Brazilian's starting place, given that Neymar has not scored since mid-October.

On the imperious nature of the 4-0 win which equalled the group scoring record for a team, shared with Manchester United and Real Madrid, the left-winger added: "We are Barça – we are the best team in the world, so we try always to put in the best possible performance. We haven't had the best results over the last few weeks so we tried to remedy that. And we are really happy with how that turned out."

We end with a quiz question: can you recall the last time you scored three in a match? He could. Instantly: "It was 2008 in Turkey, a very important game at Sivasspor which we [Galatasaray] won 5-3." Top marks all round, Arda.