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Xavi gives wonderful insight into Lionel Messi’s first training session at Barcelona

Xavi recalled how Lionel Messi tore Lilian Thuram and Carles Puyol to shreds in his first training session with Barcelona's first-team

The first day at work is always a nervous one.

Unless you are Lionel Messi, of course.

Xavi has given us a wonderful insight into what Messi’s first training session with Barcelona’s first-team was actually like.


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The former Barcelona midfielder said: “They’d already told me about this kid, I’d been warned that there was this young Argentinean kid coming through who was very good. They’d even mentioned his name but I’d forgotten.

“But then, when I saw him in training aged just 16 I could see exactly what they were on about.

Who’d win that race?

Getty Images - Getty
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Who’d win that race?

“There was a training drill we used to do in which players are one-on-one against Lillian Thuram and Carles Puyol. I saw Messi take on those two and couldn’t believe my eyes.

“Even then you could tell that he was different. It’s obvious that he has an innate talent when he is one-against-one, he’s fast, he scores goals, he passes, shoots. He’s amazing.”

Thank god he ditched that lid

AFP
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Thank god he ditched that lid

We’d pay good money to see footage of Messi going up against Thuram and Puyol, who were two of Europe’s best defenders at the time.

Unfortunately there’s a problem with Xavi’s account.

When Thuram signed for Barcelona in July 2006 Messi was already an established first-team squad member, with two seasons of football under his belt.

Clearly being spun around by Messi in training too many times have damaged Xavi’s memory.

Still, we bet Messi’s first steps at Barcelona were a joy to behold.