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.