Leo Messi's footballing career started in 1995 at Newell's Old Boys, where he played until the year 2000. At the age of 13, Lionel Messi crossed the Atlantic to try his luck in Barcelona, and joined the Under 14s. Messi made spectacular progress at each of the different age levels, climbing through the ranks to Barça C, followed by Barça B and the first team in record time.
From a young age Messi stood out due to his vision and his goalscoring ability, especially with his left foot, an endless source of magical inspiration.
In the 2003-2004 season, when he was still only 16, Messi made his first team debut in a friendly with Porto that marked the opening of the new Do Dragao stadium.
The following championship-winning season, Messi made his first appearance in an official match on October 16, 2004, in Barcelona's derby win against Espanyol at the Olympic Stadium (0-1).
That very season Messi became a regular member of Frank Rijkaard's first team squad. However, it was in the 2005/06 campaign that the Argentine really came to centre stage as he helped the team to their second Champions League victory and their 18th league title. With the departure of Ronaldinho in 2008, Messi became the focal point of the Barça forward line.
Getting better every season, Messi and Barça won 35 trophies during the Argentine's time at the Club, including the six won in 2009 and the treble in 2015.
Leo Messi and the treble trophies from 2009: Copa del Rey, Champions League and Liga
Messi’s individual achievements are also unprecedented: six Ballon d’Or awards, six times Champions League top scorer, six times Golden Shoe winner, eight times ‘Pichichi’ (top scorer) in La Liga, Ballon d’Or winner at the 2014 World Cup, FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and FIFA The Best winner in 2019.
On an individual level Messi began to set records as a youngster and never looked back. The Argentine has made more appearances than anyone, 778, scored more goals, 672, provided most assists, 305 and won most trophies, 35.
Other records included 91 goals in a calendar year, beating Gerd Müller's record from 1972 as well as surpassing Pelé's record for one club total of 643 goals.
With the Argentina national side Messi played in four World Cups (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018) as a Barça player, losing in the final in 2014 in Brazil against Germany. He has also played in six Copa Américas (2007, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2021), losing in the final in both 2015 and 2016 to Chile on penalties before finally claiming a major honour for his country with the win over Brazil in the 2021 final. In the summer of 2008 he also played at the Beijing Olympics, and came home with a gold medal.
In the summer of 2021 the love affair between FC Barcelona and Leo Messi came to an end and the Barça number 10 brought an end to his career which has been him become a life long legend for FC Barcelona.
- Seasons at the Club: 2003-2021
- Appearances: 778
- Goals: 672
Honours with FC Barcelona
- 3 FIFA Club World Cups (2009, 2011, 2015)
- 4 UEFA Champions League (2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11, 2014/15)
- 3 UEFA Super Cups (2009/10, 2011/12, 2015/16)
- 10 Spanish leagues (2004/05, 2005/06, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2017/18, 2018/19)
- 7 Copas del Rey (2008/09, 2011/12, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2020/2021)
- 8 Spanish Super Cups (2005/06, 2006/07, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2013/14, 2016/17, 2018/19)
Honours with Argentina
- 1 Olympic gold (2008)
- 1 Copa América (2021)
- 1 Laureus (2020)
- 1 FIFA World Player (2009)
- 1 The Best FIFA Football Award (2019)
- 2 UEFA Player of the Year (2010/11, 2014/15)
- 1 World Soccer Award Best Player (2015)
- 6 Ballons d'Or (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2019)
- 4 Golden XI (2009, 2011, 2012, 2018)
- 6 Golden Shoe (2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19)
- 8 La Liga top scorer (2009/10, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19, 2019/20, 2020/21)
- 6 Top scorer UEFA Champions League (2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12 i 2018/19)
- 9 MVP LaLiga (2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2014/15, 2016/17, 2017/18, 2018/19)
- 1 Golden Boy (2005)
- 1 Bravo Trophy (2007)
Most important individual records
- Only player to win Ballon d’Or, FIFA World Player, La Liga top scorer and Golden Shoe in same season (2009/10)
- Player with most Ballons d'Or
- Player with most Golden Shoes
- Player with most Pichichi Trophies
- Top goalscorer in a season in official competition (73 goals in 2011/12)
- Top goalscorer in calendar year (91 goals in 2012)
- Top goalscorer at one club Club (672 goals)
- Longest scoring streak in La Liga (33 goals in 21 consecutive matches 2012/13)
- Player with most matches for Argentina
- All time top goalscorer in La Liga (474 goals in 520 matches)
- Top goalscorer in a single La Liga season (50 goals in 2011/12)
- Player with most hat-tricks in La Liga (36)
- Player with most goals form a free kick in La Liga (39 goals)
- Player with most wins in official competition (542 wins in 771 matches)