Lionel Messi scored four goals against Sevilla for Barcelona U19s in 2004

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Even from a young age, Lionel Messi was tipped for greatness.

The prolific striker plied his trade as a youngster in Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and quickly rose to stardom for his mazey dribbles, scintillating pace and incredible finishing ability.

In 2003, at 16 years, four months and 23 days old, Messi made his first-team debut against Jose Mourinho’s Porto in a friendly - and the rest is history.


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Some 453 goals later and the Argentina international has arguably established himself as football’s greatest ever player.

And as if further evidence was needed of just how talented he was as a youngster, new footage has emerged of a 16-year-old Messi scoring four goals against Sevilla - who Barcelona face in the Copa del Rey final on Sunday - for the Under-19s in 2004. See the video below.


More impressively, Messi achieved his four-goal haul in 25 minutes. Clinical.

The traits that the 28-year-old is now famed for are all evident in the footage too: control, dribbling, pace, balance and finishing.

Messi will only hope he can repeat something close to the above feat when he lines up against Sevilla on Sunday.

After securing their second successive La Liga title, Barcelona are now gunning for the double and can do so by winning the Copa del Rey for the third time in five years.

The Catalonians face a stiff challenge in Unai Emery’s buoyant side, though, following their own Europa League final victory over Liverpool on Wednesday night.

Los Rojiblancos went 1-0 down to Daniel Sturridge's fine strike in the first half but clawed their way back to win 3-1 and secure a third-straight European trophy.

Messi and co. will be resounding favourites heading into the fixture, of course. Armed with the likes of Luis Suarez and Neymar, it’s difficult to see past a Barcelona victory.

Individually, Messi has enjoyed another fine campaign, even if his 41 goals in all competitions is far short of the 58 scored last term.

Injury saw the Argentine miss two months mid-way through the campaign yet he returned fit and firing to help Barca towards domestic success.

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