- Lionel Messi signed his first professional contract for Barcelona on February 4, 2004
- Messi joined the Spanish champions at the age of 13 and has won 32 trophies after fifteen years
- He scored 91 goals alone for Barcelona in 2012 which has never been done by any player
Lionel Messi is one of the best and famous footballers in the world considering what he has achieved since he started his football career with Barcelona.
Messi actually came through the ranks at Barcelona, and today, the Argentina international has won five Ballon d'Or medals after signing his first professional contract in 2004.
At the age of 16, Messi made his first team debut when he came on in the 75th minute during a friendly against then José Mourinho's Porto on November 16, 2003.
His performance creating two chances and a shot on goal impressed the technical staff and he subsequently began training daily with the club's reserve side, Barcelona B, as well as weekly with the first team.
And after training for the first time with the first team, ex Barcelona star Ronaldinho told his teammates that he believed Lionel Messi would become an even better player than himself.
What Ronaldinho thought about the Argentine star came to fulfillment as Lionel Messi is arguably the best football star on earth today.
When did Messi signed first contract?
Lionel Messi's first professional contract for Barcelona was signed on February 4, 2004 which lasted until 2012 and contained an initial buyout clause of €30 million.
During the 2004/05 season, Messi was a guaranteed starter for Barcelona team B playing 17 games throughout the campaign and scoring six goals.
When did he finally break into the first team?
The breakthrough for Messi into Barcelona's first team finally came in October 2004 as senior players at the club then told former Frank Rijkaard to promote him.
The 56-year-old Dutchman listened to his players then and brought in Lionel Messi to play at the right wing in which Ronaldinho switched to the left.
And on October 16, 2004, Lionel Messi made his League debut against Espanyol coming on in the 82nd minute and was at that time the youngest player to represent Barcelona in an official competition.
And what has Messi achieved since signing 15 years ago?
Since Lionel Messi signed his professional contract with Barcelona 15 years ago, he has registered 664 games, 646 goals, 275 assists, 32 club trophies, 5 Ballon d'Or and featured 128 times for his national team Argentina.
Lionel Messi has won nine La Liga titles, four Champions League titles and six Spanish Copa del Rey.
This season, Lionel Messi has also been impressive for Barcelona in all competitions and even saved the club from an home defeat in their last match against Valencia.
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how Argentina FA made it clear that they will not give any player the No 10 jersey in their hopes of convincing Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi to make a return to international duty.
Lionel Messi is yet to announce his international retirement but the forward told the FA that he wants to be excused from playing for the national team for some time.
He made this known after the 2018 FIFA World Cup where Argentina were sent out of the tournament by France in the round of 16.
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