Messi’s Barcelona debut marks 15 years

ANKARA

Argentinian football superstar Lionel Messi’s first official appearance for Barcelona marked 15 years on Wednesday.

Messi, 32, made his debut for Barcelona in a Spanish top-tier La Liga match against Espanyol on Oct. 16, 2004 at the age of 17.

He was among the substitutes in that match for Barcelona where he became a football legend.

Near the end of this match, he was substituted in to wear the Barca jersey for the first time ever.

Messi is a pure Barcelona product, coming from the Spanish giants’ youth academy.

In his 15-year-spell at Barcelona, Messi scored 604 goals in 692 club appearances.

He also produced 244 assists for Barcelona.

The Argentinian international won four UEFA Champions League titles with Barcelona in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2015. He lifted the UEFA Super Cup trophies in 2009, 2011 and 2015.

Having a market value of $171 million, Messi also helped Barcelona win 10 La Liga titles in history.

He was a six-time Spanish Cup winner with Barca.

In addition, Messi won the Spanish Super Cup eight times.

He lifted the FIFA Club World Cup trophy three times as a Barcelona player.

Barcelona captain Messi’s contract with his club will expire in June 2021.

Golden Shoe award

Separately, Messi was presented a Golden Shoe award on Wednesday as he scored the most league goals in Europe last season.

Messi claimed this award as he netted 36 goals in La Liga during the 2018-2019 season.

This was his sixth Golden Shoe award in his career.

“Once again, you make exceptional achievements seem a daily occurrence. However, winning your sixth Golden Shoe is something that is only within your grasp, the best player in the history of football. Enjoy the recognition, Leo!” Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu tweeted.

Messi previously won this award in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017 and 2018.

In the 2011-2012 football season, Messi was on fire scoring 50 goals in 37 league appearances for Barcelona.
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