Lionel Messi has signed with PSG and it’s officially the end of an era. The Argentinian has spend in Barcelona most of his life, as he arrived as a young child and leaved being arguably the best player in the world. That’s why it is tough for Barça fans to imagine the club without him.
Messi’s farewell won’t be an easy pill to swallow for the Catalan club, as his goodbye not only means a big loss in the sporting aspect, but also will affect the economic aspect. While President Joan Laporta argues that it was insostenible for the club to keep Messi, the club will have to find its way without a figure that defined its last decade.
Until today, Messi has been synonymous with Barcelona. And that’s because the relationship between the Argentinian and the club started in 2000, when Messi arrived at the city at 13 years old. He started playing as part of Barcelona’s youth system in La Masia, until he went pro.
How old was Messi when he went pro?
Messi’s talent made it obvious that he had to be in Barcelona’s first team. He debuted in the first team on November 16, 2003 at 16 years old in a friendly match against Oporto. However, he made his Liga debut one year later, on October 16, 2004, at the 83rd minute against Espanyol.
So, Messi played for 16 years in Barça’s first team and spent 21 years in the Catalan city. He left Barcelona as the player with the most official matches played (778), as well as the top scorer of the club (672 goals), which is also the record of most goals scored for one club.
Now, Messi will start a new chapter of his career at Paris alongside his long-time best friend Neymar, as well as other national teammates such as Ángel Di María and Leandro Paredes. Also, he will be in the same team with a long-time rival, Sergio Ramos. So, he will be on a team that can win it all, as he always wanted.