Lionel Messi’s wizardry at Barcelona for sixteen seasons has made him an immortal icon in the world of football, but his skills with the ball had already been on show as a child in Argentina’s youth football in the 1990s and early 2000s.
Messi had joined his hometown club Newell’s Old Boys when he was 6 years old, in 1993. Over the next six years, he scored almost 500 goals as a member of “The Machine of ’87”, the near-unbeatable youth side named after the year of their birth.
Here is a video clip of an 8-year-old Messi receiving the ball with a perfect first touch, gliding across the surface before netting a goal, following up with a celebration befitting an 8-year-old.
I don’t think I’ll ever get over this first touch by an 8 year old Messi pic.twitter.com/EjjobUlSSz
— Marc Geschwind (@MarcGeschwind) August 27, 2020
Messi relocated to Spain to join Barcelona at age 13, for whom he made his competitive debut aged 17 in October 2004 against local rivals Espanyol.
He played for the senior team over the next 16 years, racking up all-time records and winning a total of 33 trophies, before handing in a transfer request at the conclusion of the 2019-20 season.
On Thursday, Newell’s Old Boys fans held a rally in Rosario, appealing to the superstar to return to his boyhood club, amid intense speculations over his next destination.
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