Many believe that Lionel Messi is the greatest player in football history.
In truth, it’s difficult to argue.
The Argentine has six Ballons d’Or to his name – more than any other player.
He’s also scored almost 800 career goals and has won every trophy possible for Barcelona.
But forget about the accolades and stats.
You simply need to watch Messi to know that he’s something else.
Just the way he moves with the ball. The way he jinks past defenders with a drop of the shoulder. The way he skips past opponents.
There’s no player quite like him.
But was Messi born with this natural talent or is it something he learned at Barcelona’s La Masia academy?
Well, footage has reemerged that suggests that he was very much born with it.
The ultimate Lionel Messi quiz
Before becoming a superstar at Barca, Messi played at his boyhood club in Argentina, Newell’s Old Boys.
Messi played for the club between the ages of six and 12 and footage of him absolutely destroying a youth tournament at the age of eight has reemerged on social media.
It really is extraordinary as Messi – probably the smallest player in the tournament – runs rings around his opponents and shows skills that someone of that age should never possess.
Video: Lionel Messi, aged 8, playing for Newell’s Old Boys
He’s clearly far too good for everyone but even has the unselfishness to square the ball to a teammate when through on goal. What eight-year-old has the presence of mind to do that!?
Football fans – many of who were seeing the footage for the very first time – couldn’t quite believe what they were watching.
Check out the reaction:
Messi’s current contract at Barca expires in just a few days time and his future is still uncertain. However, it looks likely he will sign a new deal at Barcelona.
Whether he will eventually return to Newell’s Old Boys later in his career remains to be seen.