Lionel Messi's first coach gave an incredibly emotional interview


Even Lionel Messi's earliest supporters couldn't have possibly predicted the career he'd go on to enjoy. 

Born in Rosario in 1987, the Argentine was immensely gifted even as a child and in 2001, his family relocated so he could join Barcelona. 

The forward would make his debut for the Blaugrana's first team aged just 16. 

It was a meteoric rise, a decade on from signing for Newell's Old Boys as a six-year-old. 

Before that, though, he was learning his trade with Grandoli, where he was coached by Salvador Aparicio. 

A clip has been recirculating of an incredibly emotional Aparicio speaking before he sadly passed away in 2008. 

While he didn't get to see his prodigy become the greatest player of all time, he did witness him playing for Argentina's national side and shining for Barcelona. When asked how that felt, Aparicio replied: 

"I feel like I do now. I cry.

"Do you understand? I get emotional. The other day, he scored a goal against Getafe, they say it was like Maradona against England in the World Cup, but I think Leo is better.

"I cry by just watching him. He is my special one. What can I say? I am proud."

Remarkably, it could all have been very different had Messi's mother refused to let him play. 

"I couldn't tell how old he was, he was just a very small boy," he added. "He was playing with a football on the stand and this night I was one player short. First, we decided to wait for the player to show up. 

"But he didn't, so I asked Lionel's mother if I could borrow him. She didn't like the idea. 'He's never done it before'. I told her it didn't matter, he didn't have to do anything special. And his grandmother was there as well and she said 'let him play'. So they let me borrow him. 

"The first time the ball came towards him, he just looked at it and let it pass. The second time, he controlled the ball and started running across the pitch. He dribbled past everyone crossing his path.

"He scored six or seven goals in every match... He was supernatural, simply put."

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