when did messi start playing soccer

When Did Messi Start Playing Soccer? – Explained by Soccer Coach

Lionel Messi, a name known for amazing soccer excellence, has captured the hearts of fans around the globe. The question, “When did Messi start playing soccer?” takes us back to the beginnings of Lionel Messi’s extraordinary football career.

Born on June 24, 1987, in Rosario, Argentina, Messi’s passion for soccer was ignited at a very young age. In this article, we will explore Messi’s fascinating journey from a boy to a global icon, his first steps into soccer, and his rise to professional stardom.

When Did Messi Start Playing Soccer?

Lionel Messi’s love for soccer began at a very young age. Born in Rosario, Argentina, to parents Jorge Messi and Celia Cuccittini, Messi was obsessed with the sport even as a child. He pursued his goal of a soccer career with his family’s support.

Lionel Messi’s First Soccer Club

Messi’s journey into soccer started with a local club called Newell’s Old Boys. He joined the youth wing of the club at the tender age of 6 and quickly made a name for himself.

His family were supporters of Newell’s Old Boys, and Messi reportedly scored over 500 goals for them during his time with the youth team. This team, known as “The machine of 1987,” became nearly unbeatable with Messi’s contributions.

Moving to Barcelona

Messi’s talent did not go unnoticed, and after six years with the Rosario Club, he moved to Barcelona. The move was not without challenges, as Messi was diagnosed with a growth hormone disorder.

The treatment was expensive, and his family struggled to cover the costs. Barcelona’s willingness to pay for his treatment was a key factor in Messi’s decision to join the club.

He moved to FC Barcelona in 2000, when he was just 13 years old. His passion for Newell’s Old Boys remained strong, and he continues to be a fan of the club to this day.

Early Years in Professional Soccer

Messi began playing soccer in 1995, when he joined Newell’s Old Boys’ youth team. By the age of 13, he had relocated to Barcelona and started playing for FC Barcelona’s under-14 team. He quickly graduated through the higher-level teams, and at the age of 16, Messi made his informal debut with FC Barcelona in a friendly match.

His professional football career took off smoothly, and his talent was evident from the start. Messi’s skills, despite his shorter stature of 1.69m, have led him to receive 7 Golden Balls, 6 European Golden Shoes, and many other remarkable achievements.

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When Did Messi Start Playing Pro Soccer?

Lionel Messi’s debut with FC Barcelona’s senior team served as a marker for his transition into professional soccer. His journey from the youth team to the professional level was swift, thanks to his extraordinary talent.

Debut with FC Barcelona

Messi’s professional debut came in 2004, when he was substituted for Deco against Espanyol at the age of 17 years, 3 months, and 22 days. This made him the youngest player to play for Barcelona’s senior side at the time.

UEFA Champions League Debut

Messi made his UEFA Champions League debut as a substitute against Shakhtar Donetsk in December 2004. His impact on the European stage was immediate, and he became a key player for Barcelona in the Champions League.

First Professional Goal

Messi’s first professional goal came in a match against Albacete, making him the youngest-ever player to score for the club. His ability to find the back of the net became a defining feature of his game.

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How Many Goals Did Messi Score?

Lionel Messi’s goal-scoring record is nothing short of legendary. His ability to score consistently across various competitions has made him one of the greatest goal-scorers of all time.

Goals for Barcelona

  • La Liga: 474 goals in 519 matches
  • Champions League: 120 goals in 149 matches
  • Spanish King’s Cup: 56 goals in 80 matches
  • UEFA Super Cup: 3 goals in 4 matches
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 5 goals in 5 matches
  • Spanish Super Cup: 14 goals in 20 matches
  • Total for Barcelona: 672 goals in 778 matches

Goals for Paris Saint-Germain

  • Season 2021-22: 11 Goals in 34 matches
  • Season 2021-22: 21 Goals in 41 matches
  • Total for PSG: 32 goals in 75 matches

Goals for Argentina National Team

  • Friendly matches: 48 goals in 54 matches
  • South America World Cup Qualifiers: 28 goals in 60 matches
  • Copa America: 13 goals in 34 matches
  • World Cup: 13 goals in 26 matches
  • Total for Argentina: 103 goals in 175 matches

All Messi’s Goals

  • Total Club and National Team Goals: 807 goals in 1028 matches

Presented in a table format:

Goals for Barcelona
La Liga474519
Champions League120149
Spanish King’s Cup5680
UEFA Super Cup34
FIFA Club World Cup55
Spanish Super Cup1420
Total for Barcelona672778
Goals for PSG
Season 2021-221134
Season 2021-222141
Total for PSG3275
Goals for Argentina
Friendly matches4854
World Cup Qualifiers2860
Copa America1334
World Cup1326
Total for Argentina103175
Total Club and National Team Goals8071028

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Lionel Messi’s First Soccer Club

Newell’s Old Boys: The Beginning of a Legend

Lionel Messi’s journey into the world of soccer began with Newell’s Old Boys, a club based in his hometown of Rosario, Argentina. His connection with the club was more than just professional; it was deeply personal.

Joining the Youth Team

Messi joined the youth wing of Newell’s Old Boys at the age of 6. His family were ardent supporters of the club, and young Messi quickly became a part of the youth team known as “The machine of ’87.” This team earned its name for being nearly unbeatable, and Messi’s contribution was significant.

Scoring Over 500 Goals

During his time with Newell’s Old Boys, Messi reportedly scored over 500 goals. His style of play, even at that young age, was a glimpse of the greatness that awaited him. Videos of a little Messi dribbling past opponents and scoring goals became a treasure for soccer fans.

Facing Challenges: Growth Hormone Disorder

Messi’s time at Newell’s was not without challenges. He was diagnosed with a growth hormone disorder, a condition that threatened his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. The treatment was expensive, and the club initially offered to pay but later backed out.

A Lifelong Connection

Despite leaving the club to join Barcelona, Messi’s love for Newell’s Old Boys never waned. He often expressed his affection for the club and even celebrated goals by revealing a Newell’s Old Boys shirt. In 2020, fans of the club held a parade in Rosario to encourage him to return home.

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Messi’s Career at FC Barcelona

Messi’s move to FC Barcelona in 2000 marked a significant turning point in his career. At just 13 years old, he joined the club, partly because they agreed to pay for his medical treatment.

La Masia: The Youth System

Messi started by playing in Barcelona’s youth system, La Masia. His talent was evident, and he quickly rose through the ranks. His first contract with Barcelona was famously drafted on a napkin, a testament to the urgency to sign the young prodigy.

Debut with the Senior Team

Messi made his debut for Barcelona’s senior team in 2004, at the age of 17. He was substituted on against Espanyol, becoming the youngest player to play for the senior side at that time.

Achievements and Records

During his time at Barcelona, Messi became one of the greatest soccer players to ever kick a ball. His stats with the club are staggering:

  • Appearances: 778
  • Goals: 672
  • Assists: 266
  • Ballon d’Or: 7 times

He won numerous titles, including La Liga, Champions League, and Copa del Rey. His partnership with other legendary players like Xavi and Iniesta created some of the most memorable moments in soccer history.

Legacy at Barcelona

Messi’s legacy at Barcelona goes beyond numbers. His style of play, leadership, and dedication to the club have left an indelible mark. From his mesmerizing dribbles to his pinpoint passes and incredible goals, Messi’s time at Barcelona is a story of excellence, passion, and unbreakable connection with the fans.

Summing Up on When Did Messi Start Playing Soccer

Lionel Messi’s journey from a small town in Rosario, Argentina, to his world-famous status as a football star is a testament to his persistent dedication, natural talent, and unbreakable spirit.

Messi’s accomplishments and records show how good he is on the pitch, from his early days at Newell’s Old Boys to his rapid rise with FC Barcelona and beyond. Messi’s legacy is written in the records of football history.

He has won many trophies and awards and left a lasting impression on the sport. He has inspired generations and cemented his place as one of the best players of all time.

Faqs on When Did Messi Start Playing Soccer

When Did Messi Score His First Goal?

A: Lionel Messi scored his first goal for Barcelona on May 1, 2005, against Albacete. He was only 17 years old at the time. Messi entered the pitch in the 87th minute and scored a delightful chip over the goalkeeper in the 90th minute. This goal secured the victory for Barcelona and brought them closer to the domestic title. It was a goal that not only made history but was also captured on film during the filming of a movie at the Camp Nou. Messi’s first goal was an exciting moment that marked the beginning of his incredible career.

Who Discovered Messi?

A: Lionel Messi was discovered by Carles ‘Charly’ Rexach, a former Barcelona player and scout. Rexach noticed Messi’s “abnormal ability” when the young player was flown to Barcelona for an evaluation. Despite Messi’s small stature, his raw abilities were like nothing seen before in Catalonia. Rexach knew instantly that Messi was destined for greatness and made the decision to sign him for the club.

How Many Trophies Has Messi Won?

A: As of June 2023, Lionel Messi has won a total of 43 trophies. This impressive collection includes:

  • 10 La Liga Titles with Barcelona
  • 4 UEFA Champions League titles with Barcelona
  • 7 Copa del Rey titles with Barcelona
  • 8 Supercopa de España titles with Barcelona
  • 3 FIFA Club World Cup titles with Barcelona
  • 3 UEFA Super Cup titles with Barcelona
  • 1 FIFA World Cup with Argentina
  • 1 Finalissima with Argentina
  • 1 Copa America with Argentina
  • 1 Olympic Gold with Argentina
  • 1 U20 World Cup with Argentina
  • 2 Ligue 1 titles with PSG
  • 1 Trophée des Champions with PSG

Messi’s trophy haul makes him one of the most decorated football players in the world, equaling Dani Alves with 43 trophies each.

Trophies Won by Lionel Messi

TournamentNumber of Trophies
La Liga Titles (Barcelona)10
UEFA Champions League (Barcelona)4
Copa del Rey (Barcelona)7
Supercopa de España (Barcelona)8
FIFA Club World Cup (Barcelona)3
UEFA Super Cup (Barcelona)3
FIFA World Cup (Argentina)1
Finalissima (Argentina)1
Copa America (Argentina)1
Olympic Gold (Argentina)1
U20 World Cup (Argentina)1
Ligue 1 Titles (PSG)2
Trophée des Champions (PSG)1

Individual Awards won by Lionel Messi

AwardNumber of Awards
Ballon d’Or7
FIFA World Player of the Year1
European Golden Shoe6
Laureus World Sports Awards2
Pichichi (La Liga top scorer)8
World Cup Golden Ball2

Trophies Won by Messi with Argentina

TournamentNumber of Trophies
FIFA World Cup (2022)1
Olympic Gold (2008)1
U20 World Cup (2005)1
Finalissima (2022)1
Copa America (2021)1

When Was Messi First Golden Ball?

Lionel Messi has made history by becoming the first man to win the adidas Golden Ball twice at the FIFA World Cup. His achievements in this prestigious award are as follows:

  • Qatar 2022: Messi won the Golden Ball for the FIFA World Cup held in Qatar in 2022. He provided seven goals and three assists, set multiple records, and helped Argentina win the trophy for the first time in 32 years.
  • Brazil 2014: Messi’s first Golden Ball was awarded at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil in 2014, where he helped Argentina finish as runners-up.

How Old is Leo Messi?

Lionel Andrés Messi, commonly known as Leo Messi, was born on June 24, 1987. As of the information available, he is 36 years old. Messi is an Argentine professional footballer who plays as a forward for Major League Soccer club Inter Miami and the Argentina national team. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest players of all time and has won a record seven Ballon d’Or awards.

When Did Lionel Messi Make His Uefa Champions League Debut?

Lionel Messi made his UEFA Champions League debut on December 7, 2004. Here’s a closer look at that significant moment:

FC Barcelona faced Shakhtar Donetsk, and coach Frank Rijkaard fielded a young, inexperienced squad as they had already qualified for the knockout stages. At just 17 years old, Messi wore the number 30 and played as a central striker. This marked his European competition debut, only two months after his professional entry. The debut was unremarkable; Messi earned five points out of 10 from SPORT. The spotlight was on Julius Aghahowa, not Messi, as Shakhtar Donetsk won 2-0.

About the author


Hi I"m Aryan a pro soccer player, coach, and visionary in the world of soccer. With an impressive journey that began at the tender age of five, I have dedicated my life to the beautiful game.

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