By his own exceptional standards, Lionel Messi’s debut season with Paris Saint-Germain was somewhat underwhelming.
Granted, the 34-year-old still lifted the Ligue 1 title at the end of his opening campaign in the French capital but when you’re a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, expectations are always going to be that little bit higher than just a single trophy.
Messi’s arrival from Barcelona last summer to link up with Neymar and Kylian Mbappe at PSG sparked optimism around the Parc des Princes that the decorated trio could finally land the Champions League for the club.
While Messi couldn’t deliver that prestigious prize this time around, he has regularly treated fans to glimpses of the brilliance that will see him go down as one of the very best to ever play the game.
Despite the incredible amount of pressure that must be on his shoulders, Messi never seems overly bothered by the attention.
In fairness, we reckon he’s well used to it, having been under the microscope since childhood.
Footage of the now-Argentine captain absolutely bossing a youth tournament for his boyhood club, Newell’s Old Boys, at the age of eight has recently re-emerged on Reddit and it’s just ridiculous how good Messi was compared to his peers.
As self-assured as you may ever see a player at such a young age, the budding superstar knows he’s got the beating of his opposition, dancing around them with ease.
Those defending against him realise they are fighting a losing battle too, reduced to blindly flying into tackles in the hope that they can stop Messi’s progress.
They fail by an embarrassing margin.
One heartwarming element of the video is watching Messi selflessly set up a young colleague for a goal of their own.
Realistically, the future Barcelona legend possessed the talent to score whenever he fancied it. However, in the final stages of the compilation, he generously squares the ball to a teammate while through on goal – allowing them to tap the ball into an empty net.
You can check out the brilliance of a young Messi for yourself here…
Lionel Messi – aged only 8 years old – was simply unreal
Rare footage of 8 year old Lionel Messi playing a youth tournament for Newell’s Old Boys from soccer
Although the footage first came to the attention of the world several years ago, users on Reddit were still blown away by the immense quality of a young Messi after it was uploaded to the platform on Friday.
Some of the best reaction to the video is included below.
It’s always been Messi’s world – we’ve just been living in it.
Lionel Messi: Can you get 20/20 on this quiz about his Barcelona career?
Mbappe staying at PSG (Reaction via The Football Terrace)