On November 16, 2003, he was sentenced to the world of football for the inauguration of the Do Dragao stadium.
But this ephemera went back to its place: this night not only was the new Oporto box presented, but also the young boy from Barça in the first match with the first team.
The boy's name was Leo Messi. Messi, 16, traveled to Portugal along with five other Barca team members, including Oriol Riera and Jordi Gómez. None of them ever climbed the first plane, with Frank Rijkaard and captain Luis Enrique. In fact, Messi has not trained with the elders yet.
Rijkaard and Argentine met at the airport, no matter how much the attacker scored in lower categories: now 10 Barça has 11 goals in 10 matches with Barcelona B, despite Juvenil A.
The match in Porto, in the heat of selection, was a great opportunity to test new talents. Although the rival was important: the hosts, trained by Jose Mourinho, were current UEFA champions and competed in the Champions League, a competition in which Barça did not qualify this season.
The Portuguese easily defeated the confrontation (2-0) with Barcelona, which formed with people like Jorquera, Oleguer, Gabri and Sergio Santamaría. Ronaldinho, a recently arrived star of Barça, found herself in Brazil, regaining health after injury.
Lionel Messi entered the match in the 75th minute of the game, replacing Fernando Navarro. The Argentine rider was a hunch: the winner of the five gold balls played that night 14 in the back, a number that in the unit from Barcelona automatically returns to Johan Cruyff.
It did not take long before the talent of Rosario striker appeared, who was able to generate two good deals within fifteen minutes, which were not left unnoticed by Rijkaard. "It is obvious that he has the quality that he is a player with a promising future," said the Dutchman after the match. Messi was able to convey this promising future that Rijkaard had guessed from the whole team.
On November 16, the Argentinian made his debut in the UEFA Cup and was fourth in the national championships.
The Dutch coach was ambitious in November and said: "I'm not happy about being the fourth." The band was not actually the fourth, but secondly, thanks to the revolution initiated by Ronaldinho. Messi, however, did not make his official debut until the next season.
In the fifteen seasons that have been held to this day, with Argentina's presence in the first team, Barça has always been at least eighth in the Champions League.
The 16-year-old boy who opened in Porto, fifteen seasons later, was the greatest success in the history of Barça. Messi won 33 titles with Barcelona: 9 leagues, 4 & # 39; champions & # 39 ;, 3 cups in the world, 6 Copas del Rey, 3 European Super Cups and 8 Spanish Super Cups.
Leo Messi, in addition to collective titles, was able to conquer five golden balls and crush countless records with Zamarra from Barcelona. 10 is the best scorer in the club's history with 566 goals in 650 matches; he also has, with 91, a record of so many winners in the calendar year and is the largest contractor of all time in major European leagues.