Lionel Messi might be most closely associated with Barcelona following his majestic 21-year stint with the club, but his first love was Argentinian side Newell’s Old Boys.
Messi joined Newell’s at the age of six and remained with his boyhood club until moving to Barca at 13 – and the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner still supports the Primera División outfit.
Messi’s goalscoring record at youth level for the club was sublime, finding the net an astonishing 234 times in 176 games. However, the raw numbers simply don’t do justice to the class that he possessed at such a young age.
Footage has gone viral of Messi playing for Newell’s shortly before his Barcelona switch and, even at just 12 years old, it’s clear that his footballing intelligence far exceeds his years.
As you’d probably expect, Messi’s skills are on another level to those of his peers – even on pitches of a questionable standard.
Despite the fact that he obviously possesses the ability to bamboozle the opposition with ease, Messi is noticeably selfless, picking incisive passes to colleagues rather than automatically going for goal.
With that said, the highlights package includes a couple of thunderous finishes from Messi at the end. demonstrating glimpses of the predatory instinct that would see him score an eye-watering 672 goals for Barcelona.
You can check out the clip for yourself below. Somebody so young just should not be able to play with such authority.
Watch: Lionel Messi runs riot for Newell’s Old Boys as a youngster
Lionel Messi: Can you get 20/20 on this quiz about his Barcelona career?
Fans on Twitter could help but react in awe at the brilliance of a young Messi.
“Genuinely one of the most impressive compilations I’ve seen,” stated a first reply.
“Europe wasn’t ready,” declared a second.
“His dribble hasn’t changed throughout his career. This is pure talent,” noted a further response.
“Imagine telling your kids you played against Messi aged nine,” wrote a fourth fan.
“This version of Messi is better than Ronaldo now,” joked another.
A final comment simply read: “Genius!”
Although the Argentine superstar never played a senior game for Newell’s, fans of the club live in hope that he will pull on their jersey again before he calls time on his legendary career. If it happens, it would be a fitting end to an iconic story.
Champions League 2021/22 Round Of 16 Draw reaction (Via The Football Terrace)