Leo Messi's talent has no ceiling. This May 1 is 15 years since his first goal with Barça's first team. Through FC Barcelona's Instagram, we have spoken with four of his former team-mates: Gio van Bronckhorst, Albertini, Giuly and Belletti, all of whom were present in the team when Messi scored on that fateful night. Here are some of the statements from the interview:
Gio: "For us we were proud, because we saw him enter the dressing room embarrassed and shy, but when we saw him play and train we knew that he was a special talent, one that you only see once in your life. It made him and us happy"
Albertini: "I can't forget the play. We all went to hug him because it was an incredible goal. He was very young but he already had the personality he has now"
Giuly: "The game was incredible for us and for him, because we were helping him score his first goal; we were like his big brothers"
Belletti: "It was a moment that taught him that he could do whatever he wanted because he had a team that was going to help him. We helped Messi to be the best"
Gio: "When he was 16/17 years old in first team training it was incredible. We wondered who he was"
Albertini: "From the first day I saw his talent. On the first day I met him I didn't know him, but I soon would"
Giuly: "Leo wasn't just another player on the pitch, but away from it he was shy, quiet, he watched and listened a lot. He wasn't afraid of anyone, and with the ball he produced many good things for the team"
Gio: "He's the best"
Albertini: "Messi is the best in the world; He is a poet who is writing the history of football not only with his feet, but also with his head. He's in a class of his own"
Giuly: "Something that I have never seen. I didn't think he would maintain such a high level for 15 years"
Belletti: "Extraterrestrial, unique"