He faked to shoot then cheekily sidefooted the ball for Luis Suarez to compete his hat-trick in the 6-1 rout of Celta Vigo in the Nou Camp.
The historic landmark will surely follow, but another record was set Sunday as Barcelona extended its 30-match unbeaten run and re-opened a three-point lead at the top of the Spanish standings, with a game in hand over second-placed Atletico Madrid.
Messi scored the opener, his 299th in La Liga in the first half, a curling and unstoppable free kick from outside the area.
But Celta, which stunned Barcelona back in September, was worth its equalizer as John Guidetti leveled from the spot.
The second half saw European and reigning Spanish champion Barca at its very best, with Messi setting up Luis Suarez for the go- ahead goal.
The Uruguayan's second was a tap-in after Neymar did the hard work before Messi won a penalty.
What followed was sheer bravado as he spurned the opportunity and with Suarez clearly alert to the plan, his third was blasted home, a memorable moment which will be long talked about.
It was Suarez's 39th in all competitions this season and leading 23rd in La Liga.
With Celta wilting, Ivan Rakitic got the fifth and Neymar deservedly was on the scoresheet to complete a stunning display from Luis Enrique's men.
Earlier Sunday, Atletico Madrid kept up the pressure in the title race with a 1-0 win at Getafe.
Fernando Torres scored the only goal of the match in the second minute, his second in two matches for Diego Simeone's team which doggedly refuses to give ground to the leader.
Real Madrid's entertaining 4-2 home win over Athletic Bilbao Saturday kept Los Blancos in the three-way battle, a further point behind in third.
Bayern marches on
Bayern Munich's imperious charge to the German title continued apace Sunday with a 3-1 win at Augsburg, to leave the Bavarian giant eight points clear of rival Borussia Dortmund.
Robert Lewandowski scored a double to overtake Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the Bundesliga's top scorer, his 31st in 31 games in all competitions.
The Polish star has scored 21 in Germany's top flight, compared to Aubameyang's 20 and eight of Bayern's last nine goals.
Thomas Muller hit the other and Bayern's late third in a routine win for Pep Guardiola's team.