Lionel Messi scored twice on Wednesday to lead defending champion Barcelona to a 4-0 victory over Stuttgart and into the Champions League quarterfinals.
Barcelona won 5-1 on aggregate to ensure Spain has one team in the last eight, with Real Madrid and Sevilla having been knocked out.
Messi put the defending champion ahead in the 13th minute at the Camp Nou with a rising shot that beat goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. The Argentina forward then found the net with a low shot in the 60th for his 31st goal in all competitions this season.
“His ability is incredible when you consider his age. I think it's fair to compare him with (Diego) Maradona,” Stuttgart coach Christian Gross said of the 22-year-old Messi through a translator.
Pedro Rodriguez scored from Yaya Toure's pass in the 22nd, and substitute Bojan Krkic scored from a breakaway in the 89th minute.
It was Barcelona's ninth straight victory over the German opponents at the Camp Nou, dating to 1998.
“To reach the quarterfinals is very important,” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. “We were very, very intense in all facets, very aggressive. We played a great game.”
Barcelona last exited in the first knockout round in 2007 and Messi's opener provided slight relief after a nervy start by the host, which was without injured midfield maestro Xavi Hernandez.
Messi received the ball from Toure near the halfway mark and dribbled toward a defence that didn't close him down before cutting infield and unleashing a fierce left-footed shot that sailed past three defenders and into the top corner.
Stuttgart's pressing style continued to rattle Barcelona, however, as the host spent most of the first 20 minutes inside its own half. Even with the dangerous Cacau, Stuttgart couldn't convert its pressure into a clear opportunity.
Toure again played provider for the second goal after Messi found him inside the area with a precise pass.
The Ivory Coast midfielder fed Pedro, who slotted home from inside the box. Messi had scored Barcelona's last seven goals before Pedro's strike.
Toure nearly provided another assist in the 28th but his long cross fell just out of reach of Thierry Henry, who was playing alone up front with Zlatan Ibrahimovic on the bench.
Ibrahimovic had scored Barcelona's goal in a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
“Barcelona deserved to go on,” Gross said. “We started the game well but we couldn't stop Messi in the decisive moments,” he added.
Daniel Alves unselfishly passed at the edge of the area to Messi, who spun quickly before delivering a low shot that rolled under Lehmann's hand for the third goal.
“He was so decisive,” Guardiola said in Catalan. “Every great has a tendency to influence his team, like (Michael) Jordan with the Bulls. He's the best. We wouldn't trade him for anybody.”
Messi looked determined to record a second consecutive hat-trick after his three goals at the weekend against Valencia.
But Lehman clawed out a header of his and then cut down the angle in the 86th to force Messi to chip wide of the net.
Ibrahimovic came on in the 66th and played Krkic into space to score with his first touch of the ball after coming on for Andres Iniesta.
The results: At Barcelona: Barcelona 4 (Messi 13, 60, Pedro 21, Bojan 89) bt Stuttgart 0 (Barcelona wins 5-1 on aggregate).
At Bordeaux: Bordeaux 2 (Gourcuff 5, Chamakh 88) bt Olympiakos 1 (Mitroglou 65) (Bordeaux wins 3-1 on aggregate).