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Messi with his four Ballons d'Or. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Leo Messi, who renewed his contract through 2018, is 25 years old and he’s been with Barça for 13 years. Here's an overview of the 13 key moments in the world’s best player’s career:

- Official debut with the first team (October 16, 2004): Messi’s first match for the senior side was in La Liga in the Catalan derby played at Montjuïc. He was subbed in for Deco.

- His first goal in La Liga (May 1, 2005): Against Albacete, at the Camp Nou, Messi received an assist from Ronaldinho, the Argentine then chipped Valbuena to seal Barça’s 2-0 victory. That year Barça went on to win the first Liga title of the Rijkaard era.

- The Joan Gamper Trophy against Juventus (August 24, 2005): Even though Messi had already shown what he was capable of, his breakout match was against Capello’s Juventus in the Joan Gamper Trophy. The Argentine was simply unstoppable.

- 19-year-old Messi nets hat trick against Real Madrid (March 10, 2007): His first hat trick with the first team was against Real Madrid in the Clásico at the Camp Nou. His third goal came in the last minute of the match, his three goals secured a point for his team, who were down a man.

- Maradona-like goal against Getafe (April 18, 2007): In the semi-finals of the Cup, Messi scored a goal for the history books: he received the ball in the center of the pitch and left every defender, plus the keeper, in his wake before he fired to the back of the net. The goal is nearly identical to the one Maradona scored in the 1986 World Cup against England.




- Treble in Rome (May 27, 2009): The Argentine scored a header against Manchester United in Rome and secured the Champions League title for FC Barcelona and, at the same time, secured the Club's first ever treble: Cup, League, Champions League.

- First Ballon d’Or (December 1, 2009): After finishing third in 2007 and second in 2008, France Football named Leo Messi the best footballer of the year in 2009.

- Match-winning goal scored with his ‘heart’; Club World Cup title (December 1, 2009): Barça went on to win the only title that hadn’t graced the Catalan Club’s trophy cabinet in December of 2009. In Abu Dhabi, Barça defeated Estudiantes de La Plata in overtime thanks to a goal scored by Leo Messi. Barça went on to lift its sixth trophy in a year after the game, that team is affectionately known as the Barça of the Six Cups.


-Decisive goal in Wembley (May 28, 2011): The final of the Champions League against Manchester United was one of the most brilliant of the Pep Guardiola era. Messi scored the go-ahead goal (2-1) in the second half and the Blaugrana would go on to win the title (3-1).

- Highest goalscorer in the history of the Club (March 20, 2012): Against Granada, at the Camp Nou, Leo Messi became the highest goalscorer in the history of the Club in official matches. He broke the previous record of 232 goals set by César Rodríguez.

- 50 goals in La Liga in one season and second Golden Boot Award (May 12, 2012): The 2011/12 season ends with a jaw-dropping 50-goal tally for Messi. The Argentine, thanks to his 50 goals in the domestic competition, wins his second Golden Boot Award.

- Messi breaks Müller’s record (December 22, 2012): The Argentine scored 91 goals in 2012 and smashes Gerd Müller’s record of 85 goals scored in a calendar year (1972).

- Fourth consecutive Ballon d’Or (January 7, 2013): Messi becomes the first footballer ever to win the Ballon d’Or four times. In addition, all four awards were won consecutively.

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