The football world changed for good when Lionel Messi made his debut for Barcelona during the 2004-05 season.
The Argentine wizard since then has gone on to play more than 600 games for the Catalans – scoring 556 goals.
But what many might not know is that Lionel Messi’s connection with Barcelona goes way back than his first team days.
And it was on this very date[17th September] back in 2000 that a young Lionel Messi arrived at La Masia.
Messi’s family moved to Spain from Argentina after their relatives in Catalonia arranged a trail with Barcelona back in 2000. But contrary to popular belief, the club were not too keen at signing the youngster since Spanish club rarely signed such young player back in the day.
But it was the club’s first team director Charly Rexach who fought with the hierarchy and famously wrote down a contract on a paper napkin.
ON THIS DAY: In 2000, a 13-year-old boy called Lionel Messi arrived at La Masia.
• 642 games
• 556 goals
• 215 assists
• 33 trophies
Now, he's the most successful player in their history. 🐐 pic.twitter.com/rugQzPKGsr
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 17, 2018
And ever since that day, Lionel Messi moved to the famed academy of La Masia where he alongside the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Gerrard Pique became an integral part of the “Baby Dream Team”, Barcelona’s greatest-ever youth side.
While a big reason why Lionel Messi’s family chose Barcelona as his child’s first club in Europe was obviously the popularity of the Catalan outfit but the decision was also influenced by the fact that Barcelona chose to pay for Lionel Messi’s growth hormone treatment.
Lionel Messi has remained a one-club man – a feature that has become a rarity these days and the Argentine International is easily the most talented player to have come out of the La Masia academy.
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