Messi’s Career Is Already Fantastic – And He’s Still Just 22

Lionel Messi was just great playing for Barcelona in the European Champions League last season, and his display and four goals against Arsenal was the best I’ve ever seen a player play – since the great Brazilian Pele was plying his trade.

Maradona embraces his young star – 22 year-old  Lionel Messi

And now we have the strange sight of former Argentine great Maradona managing the young star, and certainly the Argentine boss seems to be getting the very best out of the Rosario born player.

Maradona talked about Lionel:

“So far no player can compare with Messi at this tournament and  with him, you have so many possibilities,”

“I want to be champion, and I have Messi on board with a wonderful team behind him.”

Messi has had a fantastic football career so far, and has played for only one senior club – Spanish powerhouse Barcelona.

Messi’s paternal family originates from the Italian city of Ancona, where his ancestor, Angelo Messi, emigrated to Argentina back in 1883, so you would have thought that Messi may have opted to play his football in Italy.

At the age of just five years old, Messi started playing football for Grandoli, a local club who were at the time coached by his father Jorge, and in 1995, at the age of just seven, the lad switched to Newell’s Old Boys who were based in his home city of Rosario.

But Messi then left Newell’s Old Boys when Barcelona came calling back in 2000, when he was just 12 years old.

Yes, that’s what we are thinking too – where were the Newcastle scouts? 😀

The lad made his first team debut for Barcelona when he was just 16 – 16 years and 145 days to be exact  – and played for Argentina first when he was just 18 back in 2005on 17th August, against Hungary.

Two minutes after coming on as a substitute after 65 minutes in his debut game, Messi was sent off because he was adjudged to have head-butted Hungarian defender Vilmos Vanczák by the referee, although there was some debate about whether he actually had.

So not a particularly good start to his International career.

And in 2005 he was part of the team that won the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands, where he won both the Golden Ball and the Golden Shoe, scoring in the last four Argentina matches and scoring a total of six goals in that tournament.

In 214 total games for Barcelona, he has scored 127 goals, and in 46 matches for Argentina, Messi has put 13 in the back of the net. So his scoring rate for his country lags well behind that for Barcelona – one criticism leveled at the still young player.

Even way back when a youngster, the potential of Lionel Messi was very apparent to all, and he’s one of the few that has turned that potential into a reality, and Barcelona are the very lucky club who now have the world’s best player.

Leo seems dedicated to the Spanish club, after they basically brought him up from a young boy, and have certainly looked after the lad very well indeed – to their credit.

Comments welcome.

11 comments so far

  • MarkO

    Jun 19, 2010 at 3:22 PM

    Comment #1

    one of the most overated players in the world. does what he does at Barca because of Xavi

  • baro

    Jun 19, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Comment #2


    True and untrue. Yes, because of Xavi but dont forget Iniesta. Messi just makes a cut through the defence and Xavi or Iniesta will give him the through ball. But, despite that he hasn’t scored in the world cup yet, where he has no Xavi and Iniesta he is doing kind of good setting his teamated up. For example Higuain hatrick the other day.Off Messi post of Messi free kickwith another header and the lastwas his goal.

  • boater

    Jun 19, 2010 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #3

    Haway now Messi’s not exactly overrated. He is a bit of a one trick pony – the old turn from 25 yds, drop the shoulder, cut inside the full back and curl one with the left foot, but it’s a hell of a trick – over 30 goals last season including 3 matches with 4 strikes!?!?

    I think Xavi is now referred to as ‘underrated’ so much he is in danger of becoming overrated – if yee knaa what I mean. Reminds me of Makelele who was STILL being talked about as an ‘unsung hero’ when he was picking up the player of the season award. Ya have to laugh.

    Rooney is looking ropey and tired along with Ribery – in fact anyone who appears in the nike advert.

    Still none of these come close to the most overrated player of all time – Deco.

  • Wud die for Aberystwyth Town FC

    Jun 19, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    Comment #4

    What the hell are you talking about MarkO. Don’t you recall a certain game in which he scored 3 goals against the Gooners, and people were calling it the Messi Show!!! That chipped goal was absolutely fantastic!!

  • MacToon

    Jun 19, 2010 at 6:56 PM

    Comment #5

    Ai, he’s a canny player, is he available on a free?

    (can’t see any connection with this thread and the Toon though)

  • Hugh G Hampton

    Jun 19, 2010 at 7:10 PM

    Comment #6

    Nice to see the blog owner refrain from thinking that NUFC would try to get Messi on loan.

  • Toon9

    Jun 19, 2010 at 7:30 PM

    Comment #7

    Overrated…u got to be kidding. The best player in the world by miles. Assists and goals plentiful despite not playing as a striker. Simply the best…..followed barca and most of his goals are just superb. So called big game player that is overrated is none other than Rooney. He is becoming a lumbering centre forward ala Carroll with very poor touch. His shooting and touch is only average in fact this world cup, he has been plain rubbish. He has also become very immobile.

  • Thump

    Jun 19, 2010 at 7:55 PM

    Comment #8

    Way off topic here, but am I the only person who is really not liking the new banner?

  • Toonmania

    Jun 19, 2010 at 8:33 PM

    Comment #9

    no i’m not keen on the new banner either, much prefered the old one Ed 😉 😉

  • Jonas18

    Jun 19, 2010 at 10:17 PM

    Comment #10

    I was in the Camp Nou on April 6th and witnessed Messi score 4 goals against Arsenal(he scored his first Half Hat-Trick at my end of the stadium), and let me tell you MarkO, he is NOT overrated! He could have scored 7 Goals in that game.


    As for Xavi, yes he provides many assists for Messi. What do you expect Messi to do? Do one of his runs where he blazes by 4 players and score without any help from his teammates at all for all of his 47 goals last season?

    Messi must be given credit for the superb incisive runs he makes. It makes that much easier for Xavi to pick him out.

    And hell MarkO what Goal scorer doesn’t get assists from his teammates to score? be it Xavi, Iniesta, Keita, Ibra who gets the most assists.

    And again on Xavi……he is underrated. Never understood all of the fuss about him until I saw him play live, and he is a different class. He totally runs that midfield. He was my man of the match up until Messi score his Hat-trick v Arsenal.

    Speaking of Hat-Tricks, only some excellent goal keeping by Nigerian Keeper Enyema denied Messi a Hat-trick in Argentina’s opeining game at this World Cup.

  • FCBarca

    Jun 19, 2010 at 10:46 PM

    Comment #11

    Let’s not ignore that in addition to 47 goals this season, he had 15 assists for goals, too.

    22 and just scratching the surface on the legend that just continues to grow…We are lucky to be alive to witness a super legend who is yet to even hit his prime…Enjoy everyone


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