Sport Lionel Messi's debut 16 years on: The staggering numbers behind a genius

11:41  16 october  2020
11:41  16 october  2020 Source:   goal.com

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Lionel Messi Barcelona debut : 16 years since Barca star made bow against Jose Mourinho' s Porto. Many of the most memorable ones have come against Real Madrid, including a number with Mourinho on the bench for Barca’ s biggest rivals between 2010 and 2013.

On this date 16 years ago, a young Argentine named Lionel Messi , who had been described as ‘the |Nov 16, 2019,11:01am EST. ‘A Little Maradona’: Remembering Lionel Messi ’ s FC Barcelona Donning the number 14 jersey, Messi , as reproduced in the clip above, almost broke free in front of

It was 16 years to the day since the world was first treated to a competitive glimpse of Lionel Messi as a fresh-faced teenager in the famous Barcelona jersey.

a man holding a surfboard: Barcelona's Lionel Messi with the Champions League trophy © Getty Images Barcelona's Lionel Messi with the Champions League trophy

Few could have imagined that his appearance as an 82nd-minute substitute for match-winner Deco in a 1-0 victory at Espanyol would be the first step towards a career many consider the greatest of all time.

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Lionel Messi and huge Champions League nights go hand-in-hand with the Barcelona star recording incredible stats throughout his career. The Argentine superstar made his European debut in the 2004/05 season when he was just 16 . Messi played the full 90 minutes on the road against Shakhtar

Messi is a genius , and he can become an even better player.” Messi moved to Barcelona with his father and became part of the prestigious FC Barcelona youth academy. The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is an opportunity for Messi to make an impact on the highest stage of them all.

Since that day, Messi has won 10 LaLiga titles, the Copa del Rey six times and the Champions League on four occasions, as well as becoming an unprecedented six-time winner of the prestigious Ballon d'Or award.

To mark the anniversary of Messi's LaLiga debut, we have analysed the Opta numbers behind a genius.


During his 16 years in Barca's first team, Messi has become the club's all-time leading goalscorer with a whopping 635 in total.

Of that number, 445 have come in LaLiga, which means he also has the most in the history of Spain's top flight. Messi has 115 in the Champions League, 53 in the Copa del Rey, 14 in the Supercopa, three in the UEFA Super Cup and five in the Club World Cup.

His first Barcelona goal came against Albacete on May 1, 2005, with fellow superstar Ronaldinho setting him up.

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Messi ' s presence at Barcelona grew, so much so that the club decided they did not need to keep the likes of Messi helped Barcelona to a second treble in six years as Barca swept all before them under Luis Enrique in Barcelona legend Carles Puyol opens up on Lionel Messi ' s exit from the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi sealed a 50th career hat-trick in style with three stunning strikes for Barcelona against Sevilla on Saturday. Messi is averaging a goal every 75 minutes as he shows no signs of slowing at the age of 31. Lionel messi by numbers . 650 goals.

The Argentina great enjoyed his most prolific campaign in the 2011-12 campaign, when he scored 73 goals across all competitions for Barcelona. There were an eye-watering 79 across the calendar year in 2012.

As well as his extraordinary goals return, Messi also has 254 assists for Barca – 183 of which have come in LaLiga and 33 in the Champions League.


It should come as little surprise that some of Messi's best returns in a Barca jersey have come playing in the golden era of Pep Guardiola.

In total, Messi had 211 goals and 79 assists in 219 games played under the now-Manchester City manager – an average of 0.96 goals per game.

He also excelled under Luis Enrique, winning the second of his career trebles. There were 153 goals, 66 assists and a goals-per-game ratio of 0.97 in that period.

Gallery: Premier League cast-offs who went on to win the Champions League elsewhere (FourFourTwo)

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More on Genius . The honours and achievements won by Lionel Messi throughout his career thus far. 112 individual honours (1 apparently rejected). As of October 16 , 2014 – Messi ’ s 10 year anniversary.

Lionel Messi has splashed out £12m on a private jet for himself and his family. Barcelona striker has added a few personal touches, including a No 10 on the fin. The 31- year -old came off the According to reports, the aircraft comes complete with 16 seats - which can be folded to make eight beds, as

Jerome Boateng holding a football ball:                      There are plenty of people out there who'll tell you that the Premier League is the best in the world – but this motley crew might disagree.                                                                              Each was cut adrift by some of England’s biggest clubs (and Charlton). Sometimes it was down to timing. Occasionally, club politics played a part. A few of them were just a bit rubbish. In any case, each found a new home and then Champions League success with a different club...

But it was actually Tito Vilanova for whom Messi returned the best goals per game, a mind-boggling 1.2, having scored 60 in 50 appearances.

As many as 79 different teams have conceded to Messi but none have picked the ball out of the net on more occasions against the Argentina great than Sevilla, who have done so 37 times.

Atletico Madrid are not far behind on 32, while Valencia have conceded 28 times to Messi and fierce rivals Real Madrid 26 – making him the highest scorer in Clasico history.


Not many goalkeepers can say they have got the better of Messi and Diego Alves in particular has not enjoyed encounters against the mercurial forward.

Messi scored past the former Valencia stopper on 21 occasions, with Gorka Iraizoz next on the list - having shipped 18 to the Argentina captain. Iker Casillas and Andres Fernandez have been beaten 17 times.

At Barca, Messi has played alongside some of the best players of his, or indeed any, generation.

But no player has assisted Messi more than Luis Suarez, who has now left Barca for Atleti, with the Uruguay star setting up his former team-mate on 47 occasions.

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'It was like defending against any other player': The Espanyol left-back who marked a teenage Lionel Ex-Espanyol defender David Garcia marked Lionel Messi on his Barcelona debut Messi was subbed on in the 82nd minute during a 1-0 win over Espanyol in 2004 Former Espanyol left-back David Garcia was tasked with job of marking the then 17- year -old

Lionel Messi made his debut 12 years ago this weekend and Barcelona superstar has won 29 Lionel Messi replaced Deco during a 1-0 win over Espanyol in 2004 Messi scored his first goal in May 2005 against Albacete If October 2004 was the starting point May 1, 2005 should also be marked on the Messi calendar.

Dani Alves ranks second on 42, with Andres Iniesta and Xavi laying on 37 and 31 respectively.

Camp Nou is of course the venue where Messi has scored the majority of his goals but the Santiago Bernabeu is next highest, with the 33-year-old having celebrated 15 strikes there.

The Riazor is where Messi has his best goals-per-game ratio at 1.63, scoring 13 times in eight games played at the home of Deportivo La Coruna.


- Messi is the all-time LaLiga scorer with 445 goals, becoming second-highest scorer in the top-five European leagues after Cristiano Ronaldo (450).

- Since 2008-09 to 2019-20, Messi has scored 30-plus goals in each of his 12 campaigns.

- He is the only player to score 10-plus goals in LaLiga in 14 consecutive seasons, netting 50 goals in 2011-12, the most by a player in a single season in the competition's history.

- Messi scored in 21 consecutive LaLiga games between November 2012 and May 2013, the best run of any player in Spain's top flight.

- As well as being the all-time top-scorer in El Clasico with 26 goals, Messi is the leading scorer in the Catalonian derby against Espanyol (25 goals).

- He is one of the two players in Champions League history to score 100+ goals (115), alongside Ronaldo (130).

- Messi was the first player to score five goals in a single Champions League match, versus Bayer Leverkusen in March 2012 at Camp Nou.

- He is one of the six players to reach 50-plus goals in the Copa del Rey (53 goals) and one of the two to have scored in five different Copa del Rey finals after Telmo Zarra.

Messi, a sad stat against Real .
Lionel Messi has not scored in the last five Clasicos in which he participated. This Saturday against Real Madrid, the Argentine hopes to find the loophole. © Supplied by Football 365 Lionel Messi (Barcelona) 23102020 On May 6, 2018, Lionel Messi scored his last goal with FC Barcelona during a Clasico. Since then, six summits have taken place, facing Real Madrid . But whether in La Liga or the Copa del Rey, the Argentine has never scored against the Merengue.

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