Messi's debut anniversary – Barcelona great's finest goals across 15 years at Camp Nou

By Sports Desk October 16, 2019

On October 16, 2004, Lionel Messi got his first taste of competitive senior football for Barcelona, coming on as a substitute for Deco against city rivals Espanyol.

Few watching at the time could have imagined quite what was to come from the Argentinian maestro, who has gone on to become arguably the greatest player of all time.

Messi's influence at Barca has become unrivalled, scoring 604 times to become their all-time leading scorer.

Fittingly, the 15th anniversary of his Barca debut comes on the same day he was presented with the European Golden Shoe for last season, and we have looked back at 10 of his very best goals in action for Barcelona.

Albacete (H): May 1, 2005

Even at 17, Messi had the confidence of a veteran. Having already had one goal wrongly ruled out for offside - an audacious chip from the edge of the box - Messi's focus was far from knocked and just a minute later he latched onto Ronaldinho's scooped pass before lobbing the ball over Albacete stopper Raul Valbuena from 16 yards. Some way to open your account for one of Europe's great clubs.

Getafe (H): April 18, 2007

In the 14 years since Messi first got on the scoresheet, one strike stands out as the best: his Diego Maradona-esque solo goal against Getafe. Messi picked up the ball in his own half and danced around two players before turning on the pace, beating two more defenders and going around the goalkeeper, capping it with a right-footed finish.

Real Zaragoza (A): March 21, 2010

Described by some as 'a defining goal' in his career, Messi's strike against Real Zaragoza seemed to take him from 'very good' into another class entirely. Messi displayed all he had to offer in this goal, which began when he won the ball from a tackle on halfway. From there, he shrugged off one challenge, raced towards the box and turned a defender inside out before drilling the ball into the far corner, leaving coach Pep Guardiola speechless.

Athletic Bilbao (A): April 27, 2013

Barca were in the midst of a Champions League semi-final shellacking from Bayern Munich when they arrived at San Mames. A goal down in a match that would eventually finish 2-2, Messi received possession from Thiago Alcantara, twisted past Mikel San Jose, Carlos Gurpegui and Ander Herrera with minimal space in which to operate before nonchalantly sidefooting home from just inside the penalty area.

Cordoba (H): December 20, 2014

Messi rounded off a 5-0 procession at Camp Nou with a frankly absurd piece of technique. Cordoba defender Jose Angel Crespo made glancing headed contact with Jordi Alba's searching cross from the left that might ordinarily have averted danger. But Barca's star man pulled the ball down with his left foot, swivelled 180 degrees and crashed right footed past Juan Carlos at the goalkeeper's near post.

Bayern Munich (H): May 6, 2015

Having already opened the scoring three minutes earlier to give Barca a 1-0 advantage over Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final, Messi doubled his tally with a sumptuous effort. Ivan Rakitic's pass sent Messi on his way, before the little maestro's trickery put Jerome Boateng on his backside and allowed the Argentine to casually lift the ball over the onrushing Manuel Neuer.

Athletic Bilbao (N): May 30, 2015

The second part of a treble-winning season for Barca came in the form of the Copa del Rey against Athletic Bilbao. With 20 minutes gone and the score deadlocked, Messi set off on a marauding run down the right wing and soon found himself trapped among three defenders. Naturally, Messi was able to float past the trio as if they were not there, before cutting into the box and beating Iago Herrerin at his near post.

Real Madrid (A): April 23, 2017

El Clasico rarely disappoints for football fans around the globe, and this edition was no different. Anything but a win would essentially hand Real Madrid the title and it looked to be headed for a 2-2 draw until Sergi Roberto's swashbuckling run in the 92nd minute gave Jordi Alba the chance to square it to Messi, who finished with aplomb from the edge of the area for his 500th Barcelona goal.

Real Sociedad (A): January 18, 2018

Over the past few years, Messi has really mastered the art of free-kick taking, with the skill being one of few to elude him in his younger days. This strike in a 4-2 LaLiga triumph at La Real last January showed just how far he has come, as he lined up a set-piece about 35 yards from goal and coolly curled it into the top-left corner, wrapping up victory for Barca, who had fallen 2-0 behind. 

Real Betis – March 17, 2019

We have become so accustomed to Messi's brilliance that he makes the extraordinary seem normal, but his hat-trick clincher in March's 4-1 win at Real Betis was pure genius. After receiving a cut-back from Ivan Rakitic, he caressed a first-time chipped effort over Pau Lopez and in off the crossbar from about 18 yards when shooting through a crowded penalty area looked an impossibility.

Related items

  • Bristol City sack Lee Johnson after nine-match winless run Bristol City sack Lee Johnson after nine-match winless run

    Bristol City have parted company with head coach Lee Johnson on the back of Saturday's 1-0 home loss to Cardiff City.

    The Championship club fell to a late Danny Ward goal at Ashton Gate to make it seven defeats in a nine-game winless run, leaving them nine points off the play-offs with five games remaining.

    City were three points off the top two after beating Derby County 3-2 on February 12, but they have collected only two points from a possible 27 since then and are now down in 12th.

    And City, who have lost all four games since returning to action last month, announced on their official website that Johnson - in charge since February 2016 - has been relieved of his duties immediately.

    Chief executive Mark Ashton said: "We recognise the huge amount of work that Lee has put in over the last four-and-a-half years to move this club forward and we thank him for all his efforts.

    "There have been some special moments over those years and Lee has played a significant part in them.

    "However, success in football is ultimately judged by results and league position, and the board believes that a change of management is needed now for Bristol City."

    Assistant head coach Dean Holden will take over on a caretaker basis for City's home match against Hull City on Wednesday.

  • COVID-19 is still a thing, what’s the rush? Better safe than sorry COVID-19 is still a thing, what’s the rush? Better safe than sorry

    Apparently fans in the Caribbean are growing impatient. They are eager to see local football players do what they love.

    Well, President of the Caribbean Football Union, Randolph Harris, says fans will have to wait. I agree.

    Harris is concerned about the health risks involved in a return to live football in the Caribbean and doesn’t see it happening anytime soon.

    According to Harris, a lack of resources makes putting preventative measures in place difficult. I completely understand. But there are others who suggest football should return sooner than later.

    Somewhere along the way COVID-19 has become less of a concern and more of a joke. Especially in the world of sports though it means increasing the odds of let’s say, dying.

    I’ll give you an exampleIt was reported that a football tournament with over 800 patrons was held at the Hellshire Beach in St Catherine. Let that seep in (I’ll wait).

    It irks me that many people are casually getting on with life. Reducing the spread of Covid-19 is group work and everyone needs to play their part. If fans really loved and respected the players and others, they would be more understanding about decisions concerning safety.

    It’s better to be safe than sorry. We all have a role to play in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Preventative measures include (but aren’t limited to) social distancing, wearing a mask and washing our hands frequently. Let's not forget the disease has the potential to kill. We wouldn't want to lose any more loved ones or beloved athletes.

    Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

  • Juventus 4-1 Torino: Buffon makes history as Ronaldo leads from the front Juventus 4-1 Torino: Buffon makes history as Ronaldo leads from the front

    Cristiano Ronaldo scored a stunning goal and provided an assist as Juventus eased to a 4-1 derby win over Torino to open up a seven-point lead at the top of Serie A.

    Ronaldo was by no means a constant nuisance to the Torino defence, but the Portugal great turned it on when he needed to, setting up Juan Cuadrado before scoring a brilliant goal of his own on Saturday.

    Juve made a lightning start and opened the scoring through a fine Paulo Dybala effort, before Ronaldo teed up Cuadrado – who set up the opener – for their second at the Allianz Stadium.

    An Andrea Belotti penalty gave the visitors a lifeline just before half-time, Gianluigi Buffon beaten in his record 648th Serie A appearance.

    But Ronaldo struck with a wonderful free-kick in the 61st minute and Koffi Djidji's own goal added to Torino's misery as Juve put further pressure on second-placed Lazio ahead of their clash with Milan.

    It took Juve just three minutes to take charge of the encounter, as Cuadrado found Dybala in the box and the Argentinian's quick feet saw him weave past two defenders before slotting home.

    Cuadrado was involved again just before the half-hour mark, this time jinking on to his right foot and finishing emphatically after Ronaldo led a counter and set the winger up.

    But Torino pulled one back on the stroke of half-time – Belotti slotting a penalty past Buffon after Matthijs de Ligt blocked Simone Verdi's initial shot with his arm.

    Torino briefly thought they had levelled early in the second half, but Belotti had strayed offside in the build-up.

    Juve increased their advantage just past the hour-mark, as Ronaldo stepped up to a 30-yard free-kick and sent an unstoppable effort into the top-left corner.

    The visitors' haplessness was summed up by Djidji's late own goal, the defender turning Douglas Costa's cross past Salvatore Sirigu.

    What does it mean? Juve a step closer to the title

    Although derby clashes generally produce plenty of unpredictability, contests between these two rarely lead to surprises. After all, before Saturday, Juve last lost at home to Torino in April 1995.

    Nevertheless, it was still another hurdle to pass and Juve managed to deal with Torino with minimal fuss.

    Ronaldo does what was required

    As a player who has produced countless memorable performances across his career, no one will claim this was among the standouts – but you cannot argue he was effective, as he set up Cuadrado and netted his first free-kick for Juve.

    A day to forget for Lyanco

    Torino centre-back Lyanco will want to forget about this performance quickly. While not necessarily guilty of gifting any goals away, he will be disappointed he could not do more for Juve's first two.

    What's next?

    Juve go to Milan on Tuesday, while Torino host Brescia the following day.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.