x

Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 December 2018

Watch: A look back to Lionel Messi's La Masia days 13 years after making Barcelona debut

Argentine superstar will make his 596th appearance for Barca and has won 30 trophies during his career so far.

Lionel Messi at the time became the youngest player to make his debut for Barcelona on October 16, 2004 against city rivals Espanyol. Sergio Perez / Reuters
Lionel Messi at the time became the youngest player to make his debut for Barcelona on October 16, 2004 against city rivals Espanyol. Sergio Perez / Reuters

It was 13 years to the day on Monday that Lionel Messi made his first official appearance for Barcelona's first team, coming on as an 82nd minute substitute against city rivals Espanyol.

At 17 years, three months and 22 days old, Messi at the time became the youngest player to make his Barcelona debut.

As Messi prepares for his 596th Barcelona appearance - a Uefa Champions League tie against Greek club Olympiakos on Wednesday - what transpired in the intervening years has shape football history.

_________________________________

Read more:

_________________________________

Messi has won 30 trophies so far, including eight Primera Liga titles, five Copa del Reys, four Uefa Champions League titles, and three Fifa Club World Cups.

His individual honours and records are equally staggering. A five-time world player of the year, Messi has scored 521 goals, including 29 hat-tricks, and produced 233 assists.

The only debate left surrounding Messi is whether he remains one of the greatest players of all time, or is simply the greatest of them all.

To celebrate 13 years of one of the most sparkling careers in football, Barcelona produced a short video looking at some of Messi's finest moments from his time at their famed La Masia youth academy.

He may only be a teenager in the video, but the trademark jinking runs are on full display as are his lethal left foot and ability to embarrass defenders.