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16.10.2008 10:41

Four years with Messi

Edgar Fornós

Lionel Messi took his initial steps in the FC Barcelona first team four years ago and since then has continued to improve and show ability at the highest level for both club and country.

On Tuesday, it was exactly four years since the Argentinian international made his debut for the Barça first team. On October 16, 2004, Messi appeared for the Blaugrana against Espanyol on Montjuïc at just 17 years of age after proving himself in the youth ranks.

First appearance

ESpanyol-fcb-Messi.jpgMessi helped the team record a 1-0 victory in the Estadi Olímpic on the seventh day of the season when he came on with eight minutes to go to replace Deco after Frank Rijkaard had signalled for him to change. All his ability and technique had not gone unnoticed by the Dutch coach and he promoted him to the first team and then gave him his first chance.

Winning plaudits

01-05-05_Web_Messi_01.jpgAlmost as soon as he began to play at the highest level, Messi began to win plaudits from around the world. During the 2004/05 season he netted his first goal when scoring against Albacete in Camp Nou. But it was not until the following term that he became a regular member of the Barça first team. That year, the Argentinian star proved that he could perform in the Champions League, where he made his debut against Panathinaikos, while in la Primera he made 17 appearances and scored six goals as Barça went on to win both trophies.

Improving further

fcb-getafe-messi_x5x.jpgThe last two seasons have seen Messi cement himself in the Barça team and in the headlines with a number of incredible displays. Despite suffering an injury that saw him sidelined for three months, he still managed to play in 26 league games and score 14 goals two seasons ago. Last term he improved on those statistics by playing 28 times and scoring 16 goals in the league and Champions League. In the summer, Messi helped Argentina to win the Olympic Gold medal in China.
Four years with Messi
Messi recognition
Lionel Messi is one of the candidates to be named as the best player in the world this year. It is not the first time that he has been recognised at such a high level as last season he finished second in the FIFA World Player of the Year awards in Zuric. He also won the Bravo award as the best Under-21 player from the magazine Guerin Sportivo. That prize was also won by coach Pep Guardiola in 1992.

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