Although Leo Messi’s first goal for FC Barcelona is traditionally said to be the one against Albacete on 1 May 2005, it could be argued that his first was actually the one on Tuesday 20 July 2004 against Catalan club Palamós.
It happened in an unofficial preseason fixture, and the side coached by Frank Rijkaard and led on the field by Ronaldinho won 6-0 thanks to a brace from current Barça B manager Gerard López, and others from Iniesta, Luis García, Verdú and a very young Argentinian. Messi’s was the fourth of the game, scored after 74 minutes.
Wearing number 20 on his back, he played the second 45 minutes as centre forward, and his maiden goal game after Ludovic Giuly had won the ball. Messi marked his debut by rounding two defenders before placing the ball brilliantly.
After the game, Rijkaard commented that “despite his young age, you can already see that Messi is something special”.
Last Sunday at the Sánchez Pizjuán, he made it to 500 goals. Who would have thought that that little teenager would go on to become the highest goalscorer in club history and lead the team through its most glorious period ever?
He is now an international superstar, perhaps the biggest one the game has ever known, and has won a record five editions of the Ballon d’Or, four of those consecutively.
Will he go on to score another 500? Where Messi is concerned, nothing is impossible!