Lionel Messi admits he was starstruck by Thierry Henry at Barcelona

Thierry Henry and Lionel Messi celebrate winning the 2009 Champions League final

Lionel Messi has left countless footballers starstruck throughout his illustrious career.

The diminutive Argentine has received universal praise from rivals and has even left elite-level managers speechless in their post-match interviews.

But back before he was football's biggest superstar, Messi himself was left starstruck by one Barcelona arrival.

That man was Thierry Henry. The French striking genius arrived in Catalonia from Arsenal in the summer of 2007, a deal that was seen as a major coup at the time.

Henry's three-year stint with Barca was certainly a success, but come 2010 he was being heavily overshadowed by the brilliant Messi.

But upon Henry's arrival, the Argentine was a youngster still trying to make his way in the footballing world, while Henry was a global icon, so much so that Messi couldn't even bring himself to look at him.

"The first day he entered the dressing room, I did not dare to look him in the face," Messi told L'Equipe, per Daily Mail.

"I knew everything he had done in England. I had an image of him made and suddenly we were on the same team.

"What I feel for Titi may be a form of admiration. I loved Henry. The ease of finishing an action, how he takes the road to the goal and ends the play.

Henry and Messi celebrate

"He gives the impression that it is natural. His career, his dribbling, the last gesture. It is fluid, proportionate."

Henry really was a generational talent.

In the present day, it's easy to forget the aura that was around the legendary Frenchman. It was very similar to the ones around both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo we see today.

Opposing players quaked in fear when they saw him in the tunnel and even rival fans idolised the mercurial striker.

Kylian Mbappe is the only hope we have of seeing another striker like Henry in the coming years!

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