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Recreating Lionel Messi’s Barcelona Journey in Pictures

Lionel Messi (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Lionel Messi (Photo Credit: Reuters)

A year after his failed attempt to leave Barcelona, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is now out of his contract with the Catalan giants.

One of the greatest footballers of all time Lionel Messi is now a free agent. A year after his failed attempt to leave Barcelona, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner is now out of his contract with the Catalan giants. And as the top clubs in the world try to sign the Argentine great; here we take a look at his career.

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In the year 2003, a 16-year-old Messi made his debut for La Liga giants during a friendly match against Porto.

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A year after playing a friendly match against Porto, Messi made his debut for Barca against Espanyol at Olympic Stadium in 2004. Barca went on to win that match 1-0 as Messi became the younger player to represent the Spanish powerhouse in an official game.

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Messi penned down his first contract with Barcelona in 2005 on his 18th birthday.

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A 19-year-old Messi netted 17 goals in 2006 to announce his arrival on the world stage as Barcelona struggled in La Liga.

In 2007, Messi finished at the second and third sport in the FIFA player of the year and Ballon d’Or rankings, respectively. And, at that time, he was just 20 years old.

Following Brazilian magician Ronaldinho’s departure from Barca, Messi was given the iconic number 10 jersey. He again finished in the top three in Ballon d’Or and FIFA Player of the Year voting.

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In 2009, Messi won his first Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year awards.

In 2012, Messi scripted history by netting a record 91 for his club and country combined. In the same year, he also won his fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or.

In 2013, Messi donned captain armband for the first time for Barcelona. A year later, he became La Liga’s leading goal scorer by surpassing Telmo Zarra’s 59-year record of 251 goals.In 2015, Messi guided Barca to victories in UEFA Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, La Liga and Copa del Ray by scoring 48 goals. Messi also won his fifth Ballon d’Or in the same year.

Messi won his record sixth Ballon d’Or in 2019. A year later, the star player surpassed Brazilian great Pele to become the highest goal-scorer for a single club. As of now, Messi has scored 672 official goals for Barcelona.

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first published:July 02, 2021, 07:24 IST