Messi on his debut / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE

Back in 2003/04, Frank Rijkaard picked a youngster from Barça B to play in a friendly against Porto. His name was Leo Messi. The regular first team players in the side that night included Luis Enrique, in what would be his last season at FCB. And the two combined in a move that almost led to a goal.

Messi told Barça TV about the experience after the game, saying that “all the players helped us to fit in, but most of all the veterans like Luis Enrique, Xavi and Gabri. They were a great help to the four young players.”

New roles

Eleven years have passed since then. The shy Argentinian has gone on to become one of the greatest players that world football has ever known. And the Asturian has since gone into management, and after spells at Barça B, AS Roma and Celta Vigo is now back to manage the FC Barcelona first team. It’s a very different squad to the one that Luis Enrique left in 2004, but there are two familiar faces. Xavi and Iniesta have very much stood the test of time and are still in the team.