Lionel Messi who grew up in Rosario-Argentina arrived Barcelona at the age of 12 having earlier played for Newells Old Boys back home.
He was a real nightmare to opponents and everyone including his coaches who were stunned by his skills and ability to dribble past older and big-sized players despite his small body size.
The sensational youngster played his first official game for the Barcelona youth team on April 7, 2001 wearing shirt no.9 and scoring in his side’s 3-0 win at Amposta – and that opened the account of arguably the greatest player of all time.
Messi went on to score a total of 89 goals in just 97 games across Barcelona youth teams starting from 2000/2001 season before his debut for the senior team C and the rest is history.
He has scored 634 goals in 731 appearances for La Blaugrana making him the highest goalscorer in the history of the club and the Spanish topflight division.
His first three seasons breaking into the Barca team saw him record eight goals in the 2005-06 season, 17 in the 2006-07 term and 18 in the 2007-08 campaign.
The charismatic enigma then started to increase his tally season by season scoring 38 goals in the 2008-09 season in Barca’s Champions League-winning campaign.
In total, at 33, he has scored a whopping 114 goals in his 141 Champions League appearances including 8 hat-tricks in the prestigious competition.
However, his exit is imminent at the Catalan club as, the one-time little boy from Rosario, who many regard as the greatest footballer of all time has handed the club his transfer request.
He has won 6 Ballon d’Or awards in the course of his remarkable career.