Messi was at his sublime best in Barca's 5-0 victory at home against Espanyol on Saturday and scored his 38th hat-trick for the Blaugrana.
Despite the speculation, Messi has already struck 5 goals for Barcelona, making him the leading La Liga goalscorer by a 3-goal margin already, after just 3 games.
Lionel Messi. While the Argentina number 10 was at least a yard offside when collecting a pass from Ivan Rakitic to open the scoring, he remained at the heart of everything Barcelona produced going forwards.
Far from fearing an imminent humiliation, Espanyol gamely responded and Barca goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was grasping at air when Pablo Piatti's strike cannoned back off the post two minutes before half-time.
The players have returned from their global sojourn and the player who grabs most of the eyeballs, Lionel Messi, for one, is not happy.
Barcelona made all the early running but suffered a scare in the 21st minute when Sergio Busquets booked for cynically pulling back Leo Baptistao after his misplaced pass threatened to give the Espanyol forward a route to goal.
Ernesto Valverde described the Argentine as'extraordinary following the final whistle
Suarez was little doubt that Messi was the hero of the hour and handed his team-mate familiar plaudits.
- Barcelona have won 14 consecutive games at home in LaLiga, their best run since January 2014 (25).
The fixture closed out with the hosts continuing to control the game, as they had done all evening, and their dominance again shone through with five minutes to go as Pique rose above all else inside the area to convert Rakitic's fiercely-whipped corner.
With the result secure, Ernesto Valverde sent on Dembele in the 68th minute to make his debut, replacing Gerard Deulofeu to great applause from the Nou Camp faithful.
But Barca did more than enough to sweep aside the spirited Budgerigars and now find themselves top of La Liga as one of only two sides who still hold their 100% winning record.