16 November 2003 may not seem like a date to remember, but for a certain Lionel Messi it's a very special one indeed. It is, of course, the day he made his debut for the Catalan giants - making it a decade ago tomorrow we were first introduced to possibly the greatest player ever to grace a football pitch.
The opposition that day were Porto in a friendly match-up with Barcelona, and Messi says running onto the pitch that day at the tender age of 16 enabled him to let his "childhood dream come true."
He has since gone on to make 333 appearances for the club, scoring a staggering 327 goals (making him their all-time top goal scorer) in the process, as well as winning four Ballon d'Or awards - the most prestigious individual award in world football.
"November 16 2003 is a very important date for me, because that's when I was able to make my childhood dream come true," he told Barca TV.
"It was a very happy day for me. I'd fought hard to make that moment happen and it was really special."
Sadly for Messi, the game ended in a 2-0 defeat to the then Jose Mourinho-managed Portuguese side. He played 75 minutes for Frank Rijkaard's side before making way for Fernando Navarro.
"I remember that we were training with the Juvenil A team and when it finished, Josep Colomer talked to me about a few things and then told me I would be travelling with the first-team.
"He told me I should just enjoy the game and the experience, but when I came back I should concentrate on the Juvenil A team.
"I think that I can continue to be the same person. I see things in the same way, though I have grown and learnt how to value things," he said.
He made his league debut for the Catalans on October 16 2004 at 17 years and 114 days old. The rest is history.
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