On 16 October, 2004 a 17-year-old Lionel Messi made his first-team debut for Barcelona as a substitute against Espanyol. ESPN FC’s Ross Dyer and Steve Nicol reflect back on that landmark day and the illustrious path the Argentine has carved out in the 15 years since for club and country.
Messi had taken to the field for Barcelona in a friendly against Jose Mourinho’s Porto side, aged 16 years, four months, and 23 days old, on 16 November 2003, and he was already turning out for the Barcelona ‘B’ team in next-to-no time.
Leo Messi wins his SIXTH Golden Shoe award!
A single training session with the first-team squad led the great Ronaldinho to believe that Messi would surpass him, and it wasn’t long before he was fast-tracked into the Blaugrana’s star-studded side.