It was always obvious that Lionel Messi was from a different planet altogether.
Messi’s rapid ascent to the apex of world football started as a teenager and during his formative years his form for Barcelona made him a figure of keen interest across the planet.
Everyone knew something special was in progress, that a genuine world-beater was beginning his first chapter in what would prove to be a beautiful footballing odyssey.
And that feeling was only enforced when he pulled on the famous blue and white Argentina strip at the 2007 Copa America.
Messi celebrated his 20th birthday just before the tournament got underway, but his lack of experience certainly didn’t matter to Argentina manager Alfio Basile.
The prodigious youngster started the opening game against Colombia and provided an assist for Hernan Crespo’s second goal against the USA.
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Argentina went on to win all three of their group games and beat Peru in the quarter-final to set up a clash with Mexico in the last four.
Having bagged his first goal of the tournament against Peru, Messi went one better in the semi-final by scoring a simply genius wonder-goal to put Argentina 2-0 up.
Carlos Tevez played the ball into Messi inside the right channel and the young wizard was immediately challenged by a Mexico defender as he entered the penalty area.
There was seemingly no space for him, and certainly no direct route to goal.
But he didn’t need it.
With one delicate flick of the left boot Messi chipped the ball over the defender and the goalkeeper to somehow find the back of the net.
You can watch the clip of the goal below:
It was an outrageously audacious moment that gave an insight into what the future held, leaving both commentators in awe of his brilliance.
If the world wasn’t already aware that a star was being born, then they certainly were after this goal.