Lionel Messi as you’ve never seen him before… Barcelona release unseen footage of world’s best player during his rise through the ranks at La Masia
A young Lionel Messi is interviewed at the start of the impressive YouTube video, where he notes he would like to score more
The clip, with never-before-seen footage of Messi in the La Masia academy, shows the Argentine scoring numerous goals
Messi is used to the pristine pitches of the Nou Camp nowadays, but in the video he played on some surfaces made of sand
Beginning with what is likely to have been one of Messi’s first ever interviews, the clip then bursts into life to show a trademark free-kick.
Nowadays, the pristine pitch of the Nou Camp is his stomping ground, but it appears that was not always the case as he bends a shot towards the top corner on a surface made primarily of sand.
Fresh-faced and innocent, you can immediately see the similarities between the Messi of old and the current Barcelona superstar.
That same drop of the shoulder, that same close control, and that same dinked finish we see so often in some of the world’s biggest matches.
Messi joined Barcelona in 2001, travelling over from his home country of Argentina to begin life in the La Masia academy.
Clearly, he was different to all the rest, and his rise through the age groups was fast and impressive.
He played for Barcelona C and Barcelona B, before making the final step up to the first team, his debut coming against Jose Mourinho’s Porto in November 2003.
He was just 16 years, four months and 23 days old when his debut came, and quickly it was obvious that Messi would just keep on rising.
In the video posted to Barcelona’s YouTube channel this week, unseen footage is shown of him beating other young players, as though it were an adult playing against young children.
Superstar Messi joined Barcelona back in 2001, arriving in the youth ranks from Newell’s Old Boys, in his native Argentina
Now with a beard and blond hair this season, Messi has scored 23 goals for Barcelona as they chase down Real Madrid
This season, Messi has already netted 23 goals in 20 matches to help Barcelona to second in the La Liga table.
Every year brings trophies, success and a lot of goals – 487 in his career, to be precise.
The Messi vs Cristiano Ronaldo argument is one that will clearly run and run, without ever giving a definitive answer, but one thing is certain:
We should appreciate Messi before it’s too late, and this video is just one more example that he is perhaps the greatest of all time.