Valverde talked up the importance of that opening goal and believes that it was the turning point of a game which his side went on to win comfortably.
"[Messi] does extraordinary things and makes them seem routine. Today it was three goals, and he unlocked the match with his free kick. The strike was masterful and he simply doesn't tire of scoring hat-tricks," he told reporters.
"I'm satisfied with the 4-0, it's a normal result [when you look at how the match progressed]. They played well on the counter-attack and we knew it would be difficult to get the first goal.
"After the second goal we were calmer and found things easier, it's always difficult to open teams up at first."
Messi has also now scored more goals in the group stages of the Champions League than any other player.