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10 years on, here's a look back at a 17-year-old Lionel Messi's Barcelona debut

“I’ve always enjoyed being on the pitch, wearing these colours, living amazing moments.”

Source: TheHauSeS/YouTube

ARGENTINE SUPERSTAR LIONEL Messi on Thursday hailed an “incredible” decade with Barcelona as he celebrated the 10th anniversary of his competitive debut for the Catalan giants.

“I want to say thanks to all my family, friends, teammates and FC Barcelona staff for their support in these 10 incredible years,” Messi wrote on his Facebook account.

“I’ve always enjoyed being on the pitch, wearing these colours, living amazing moments and I’m constantly trying to improve and win more titles with my team. A hug for everyone!”

Messi made his debut aged 17 years on October 16, 2004 during a Catalan Liga derby against city rivals Espanyol, which Barcelona won 1-0.

Since then he has gone on to win four Ballons d’Or titles in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, three Champions League titles in 2006, 2009 and 2011 and been involved in six Spanish title wins.

In addition, he has become the top all-time scorer in the club’s history.

On Saturday, when Barcelona host promoted Eibar, the Argentine could also equal or overtake the all-time record of striker Telmo Zarra, the top scorer in La Liga with 251 goals.

Messi, 27, has 249 goals in the Spanish league.

If he fails this weekend he has another golden opportunity the following weekend in the Clasico against eternal rivals Real Madrid.

- © AFP, 2014

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