September 17th, 2000. A date that should be a holiday in Barcelona.
That is the day that Barcelona signed a small, undersized 13-year-old from Argentina. The smallest player on the pitch, Lionel Messi weaved through his youth competition with a deadly left foot and long hair flowing behind him.
Fast-forward 14 years and not much has changed. Messi is still the smallest player on the pitch. He still weaves through his competition with a deadly left foot. His hair…a little shorter now.
Through his career at Barcelona, Messi has transformed from a bright youngster to the best player in the world, and possibly of all-time. He has six La Liga titles, three Champions League titles, and four Ballon d’Or awards for best footballer in the world.
In 428 games with Barcelona, Messi has scored 356 times. He once scored 33 goals in 21 games. Consecutively. He’s La Liga’s all-time leading goal scorer, and is still only 27 years old.
The things Lionel Messi does often amazes both fans and competition alike. He consistently goes on runs where he dances around four or five defenders before embarrassing the goalkeeper with a deft touch. His left foot is a magnet for the ball, seemingly gaining speed while on the dribble.
Here’s a look back at Messi’s first goal for Barcelona, all the way back in 2004. Messi puts away a brilliant assist from Ronaldinho in a goal that symbolizes a passing of the torch between Barcelona greats.
Happy Anniversary, Barca and Messi. Here’s to another 14 years.