All good things eventually come to an end, they use to say. If not, just look at the Lionel Messi and Barcelona saga. No one could have ever imagined the Argentine superstar playing somewhere else, but there's no other option than start getting used to the idea.
La Liga regulations prevented the Spanish giants and the player from putting pen to paper to the new contract, ending with the 34-year-old's stint at the club that embraced him when he was just a young kid.
672 goals, 305 assists, and 778 games later, Lionel Messi will bid farewell to the club whose fortunes changed forever when they brought him. Barcelona and Messi's story will live long for the ages, even though it didn't end as expected.
How many seasons has Lionel Messi played for Barcelona?
The Rosario-born player has become arguably the biggest figure to have ever worn the Blaugrana colors. With ten La Liga titles under his belt, four Champions League trophies, and many more individual and team accolades were part of Messi's memorable years at the Camp Nou.
As a professional player, Lionel Messi has played for 16 straight seasons with Barcelona, as he joined the first team in the 2005/06 season and kept on playing until 2020/21. If we consider his time at the club's academy, Messi has been at Barcelona for 21 years. He has achieved impressive feats on the way, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time.
How old was Lionel Messi when he joined Barcelona?
Before becoming the club legend he is nowadays, Messi has had to go through a long way. However, he already stood out when he played in the youth teams of Argentine club Newell's Old Boys, and caught the attention of scouts who saw in him a promising talent.
Lionel Messi joined Barcelona when he was 13 years old, first for a trial, and went on to earn a place in La Masía, the club's academy. From then on, there was no turning back and the Catalans saw how the young Argentinian kid ended up being one of the best in history.