First five years for Messi
Lionel Messi celebrated five years since he put pen-to-paper on his first professional contract with FC Barcelona on Thursday and his rise to the top since putting pen to paper has been remarkable.
On September 16, 2005 the Argentinian inked the deal that would keep him at Camp Nou until 2014,
and includes a buy-out clause of €150 million, after he had shone in the Trofeo Gamper game
and had impressed for the Argentina Under-20 side.
Debuting for the first team in October 2004, Messi moved between the first team and
B outfit before starring against Juventus in the pre-season Gamper outing. Along with his showing
with the Albiceleste’s Under-20 team, Barça knew that they had to tie Messi down to a
long-term deal despite him being just 18.
Best in the world
There was no risk involved as Messi continued to impress and showed what he was capable of as
the Blaugrana won the title and the Champions League in 2006. His rise to prominence was complete
when he was the star of 2009 as Barça won no less than six trophies and he was awarded the Ballon
d’Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year prizes.
Last season Messi netted 34 league goals to make him the top goalscorer, and give
him the Pichichi trophy and the Golden Boot, as Barça secured 99 points and the title. He was also
the club’s top scorer in the Champions League and is currently the seventh highest scorer in
the Blaugrana’s history, with 133.