Landmark moments from Lionel Messi's magical decade with Barcelona
As Argentine forward Lionel Messi celebrates a decade of fantastic football since making his debut for the Catalan club Barcelona, let's take a look at his some of his landmark moments in his career since his debut for Blaugrana on October 16, 2004
A decade to remember. Lionel Messi made his official Barcelona bow as a promising 17-year-old on October 16, 2004, having previously featured in a pre-season friendly against Jose Mourinho's Porto. But in his eight-minute cameo against Espanyol, few could have predicted what would happen next.
Wearing the number 30 shirt, Messi replaced goalscorer Deco in a 1-0 win at Montjuic to become Barca's youngest-ever player in La Liga at 17 years and 114 days.
That feat was later bettered by Bojan Krkic, but many of Messi's milestones, records and marks will never ever be beaten. In 10 years with the first-team, the Argentine forward has played 434 games, scored 361 goals and amassed 21 trophies.
Those include six Liga titles, three Champions League crowns, two Copas del Rey, two Uefa Super Cups and two Club World Cups, while the Argentine has also claimed an unprecedented four Ballons d'Or during his time at Camp Nou and is about to become La Liga's all-time top goalscorer as he closes in on Telmo Zarra's mark of 251 strikes in the Primera Division.
At 27 and with many seasons still ahead of him, Messi looks set to build on his already remarkable record. So here, as he celebrates 10 years since making his Blaugrana bow in 2004, let's take a look at his some of his landmark moments:
October 16, 2004: Messi made his league debut for Barcelona against city rivals Espanyol. He was aged 17 years and 114 days and came on as a late substitute for Deco. "I will remember those 10 minutes my whole life," he said after.
May 1, 2005: His first competitive goal for Barcelona came against Albacete. This time Messi came on as an 87th minute replacement for Samuel Eto'o. He has now notched up 249 Spanish league goals for his club. Barcelona won the La Liga title the same month, the first of Messi's six league crowns so far.
August 17, 2005: Argentina fans could not wait for the protege to make his international debut, but it finished almost as quickly as it began. He came on as a second half substitute against Hungary, but was sent off within two minutes for elbowing an opponent.
March 1, 2006: Messi scored his first international goal in Argentina's 3-2 defeat of Croatia.
June 11, 2006: Messi played his first World Cup finals game as Argentina romped to a 6-0 first-round thrashing of Serbia and Montenegro. He bagged the final goal too and was the youngest scorer in the tournament in Germany.
March 11, 2007: Matches between Barca and its archrival Real Madrid are dubbed "El Clasico" and regarded as one of the biggest games in the sport. Messi showed he belonged on the highest level with a hat-trick as the two teams drew 3-3.
July 7, 2007: At his first Copa America tournament, Messi starred alongside Hernan Crespo and Juan Roman Riquelme as Argentina stormed to the final. Messi scored in the quarter and semi-finals before Argentina fell 3-0 to Brazil in the final.
August 23, 2008: Barcelona tried to force Messi to forgo the chance to take part in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. But he insisted and provided the assist to Angel di Maria as Argentina beat Nigeria 1-0 in the gold medal match before 89,000 people at the Beijing National Stadium -- better known as the Bird's Nest.
May 27, 2009: Messi was not on the team-sheet when Barcelona beat Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final, but he still earned a winners' medal for taking part in the campaign. He scored the second goal as Barcelona beat Manchester United 2-0 in Rome for his first real Champions League win.The club completed a treble of Spanish league, cup and European Cup triumphs in an historic season.
December 1, 2009: Having come third then second in the two previous years, Messi was voted Ballon D'Or in 2009. It was the start of a record run of four straight triumphs in the contest. Real Madrid rival Cristiano Ronaldo managed to outdo him in 2013.
May 28, 2011: Messi fires Barca into another Champions League final, once again against Manchester United at Wembley. Messi scored as Barca outclassed the English champions, securing a comfortable 3-1 win and third European Cup triumph in six years. Messi is subsequently awarded a third straight Ballon d'Or in December 2011
March 20, 2012: A moment of destiny arrived for Messi during a match against Granada. He bagged a hat-trick to move on to 235 goals for Barca and overtake Cesar Rodriguez as the club's all-time leading goalscorer. Cesar played for Barca between 1939 and 1955.
December 22, 2012: Messi's goalscoring exploits scaled new heights in 2012. A strike against Valladolid on December 22 was his 91st of the calendar year, breaking a record previously held by Germany's Gerd Muller.
July 13, 2014: Heartbreak for Messi. The Argentine maestro scored and laid on priceless goals as he reached his first World Cup final. Messi had chances to score but it was Germany's Mario Goetze who got the extra-time goal that stole the game. Messi won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament.