Lionel Messi: Nine years since his debut

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Happy anniversary to Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, who today celebrates exactly nine years since he made his debut for the Camp Nou club.

Messi's senior bow came in a narrow victory against local rivals Espanyol at the Estadi Olimpico Montjuic, with the forward coming on as a late substitute for Deco, at the tender age of only 17 years, three months and 22 days.

Since that moment, Messi has gone on to make a further 251 appearances for Barcelona, during which time the 26-year-old has managed to find the net on a quite remarkable 223 occasions.

Messi scored his first goal for Barcelona at the end of his maiden season in the first-team set-up, but surely even he would not have imagined the goalscoring records he would achieve as his career with the club has progressed.

The Argentina international is now the record scorer in Barcelona's illustrious history, and has registered over 50 club goals in each of the last three campaigns, including the new benchmark set in 2011-12.

Messi scored a mind-boggling 73 goals in 60 games for Barcelona that season - the most ever recorded in club football - while he broke further records with a sensational 91 strikes in the calendar year of 2012.

He so very nearly matched the same scoring rate last season with 60 scored in 50 appearances, while Messi is on track to post another incredible campaign with 11 in nine so far in 2013-14.

Can he break further ground in goalscoring history this term? We shall see. But, in the meantime, let's celebrate the occasion of today by remembering some of his greatest goals. Enjoy.

Lionel Messi
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