Lionel Messi, with the FC Barcelona Under-18 team. / FCB Archive

In the 2002/03 season, Lionel Messi played for FC Barcelona's Under-16 squad under head coach Àlex García. It was the only season during his time in Barça's youth academy that the young Argentinian started and finished a season on the same team. The following campaign, Messi played in four different categories, ascending from the Under-17 team to Barça B.

Today, coinciding with Messi's 28th birthday, the Barça TV program Promesas has released never-before-seen video of Messi's U-16 season, when the 15-year-old was already exhibiting great talent and enormous potential. Many of the moves that dazzled his teammates and rivals ended up becoming commonplace occurrences year after year, even today, as the striker continues to demonstrate that his level of play knows no limits.

This unprecedented video shows incredible images of the young Messi's goals, assists and precocious play, straight from the archives of Barça TV, which found these previously unpublished videos from the Barça star's days as a youth player.


The unpublished images of Messi (Cadet A) por fcbarcelona