Well, as if football couldn’t get any stranger, Lionel Messi appears to be on his way out of Barcelona.
It’s something that was always going to happen, but many expected it to come through retirement, rather than a transfer request due to the current state of the club.
Barcelona have been going through a rough patch over the past few years, but have managed to maintain a level of success thanks largely to Messi. But a trophyless 2019/20 was capped off by that humiliating 8-2 defeat at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League – which appeared to be the last straw for the Argentine.
Messi has always been synonymous with Barcelona, following his rise through La Masia having joined as a kid, leading them to domination of Spain and Europe. In total, the 33-year-old has made 731 appearances across all competitions for the Blaugrana, scoring 634 goals and is the club’s all-time record goalscorer.
Those 731 appearances have included 143 games in the Champions League and three finals, but what about his first-ever game; his Barcelona debut?
In October 2004, Barcelona were leading rivals Espanyol 1-0 with less than 10 minutes to go and manager Frank Rijkaard looked to a 17-year-old Messi to help see out the win. They did and the rest, as they say, is history.
But what can you remember about that game? Can you name all 13 players than Rijkaard used that day? And how quickly can you do it? You’ve got five minutes and, remember, no cheating!
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