It’s crazy to think that Lionel Messi has been entertaining football fans for 13 years now.
The Argentinian forward made his Barcelona debut in October, coming off the bench in a 1-0 win over Espanyol.
And the rest is legendary.
Messi is in the conversation for the greatest player in history and his list of achievements is truly extraordinary.
A record five Ballon d’Or awards. The highest goalscorer in Barcelona’s history. Inclusion in FIFA’s FIFPro world XI in every year since 2007.
If Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t around, Messi would be the undisputed GOAT.
Messi ruined AC Milan in 2013
AC Milan got to witness Messi’s brilliance first hand when they faced Barcelona in the Champions League round-of-16 in the 2012-13 season.
Having beaten the Blaugrana 2-0 at the San Siro, Milan, managed by Massimiliano Allegri at the time, must have felt confident of causing an upset.
But they ran into an in-form Messi in the return fixture, the Barcelona maestro scoring twice in the first half to level the tie on aggregate.
Video: Messi owns AC Milan
Gary Lineker tweeted about Messi
Goals from David Villa and Jordi Alba secured the comeback but it was Messi’s display that everyone was talking about.
That included Gary Lineker, who declared Messi the GOAT on Twitter during the match.
“I saw a lot of Maradona and played against him. Wonderful though he was, Messi is better and so much more consistent,” Lineker wrote.
“Little fella is a genius. Best ever,” the former Barcelona and England forward added.
When radio DJ Danny Baker pointed out that many pundits are scared to declare Messi above the likes of Pele and Diego Maradona, Lineker replied: “People remember the good moments and forget the rest, which I've benefitted from, but this fella does it nearly every game”.
Messi's still just as good today
Nothing has changed more than four years on.
Messi, now 30, has made an incredible start to the new campaign, scoring 12 goals in all competitions including nine in La Liga.
We love to argue about who’s better between Messi and Ronaldo but it’s far, far easier just to celebrate them both.