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Albaceting the scene

On this day 12 years ago, a young Lionel Messi scored his first-ever Barcelona goal in the La Liga clash against Albacete

Argentine wizard has now scored 500 competitive goals for the La Liga giants, but on May 1, 2005 he was a complete unknown

12 YEARS ago to the day, an unknown 17-year-old burst onto the Spanish scene.

Entering the pitch in the 88th-minute to replace Barcelona legend Samuel Eto’o against Albacete, a certain Lionel Messi kicked-off his sensational career.

Lionel Messi scored his first goal for Barcelona on May 1, 2005

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Lionel Messi scored his first goal for Barcelona on May 1, 2005

With one of his first touches, Messi got on the end of a delightful, chipped pass from Ronaldinho and coolly lobbed the goalkeeper.


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Then-boss Frank Rijkaard brought on Messi with the tie going down to the wire at just 1-0 to the hosts at the Nou Camp.

The man he replaced, Eto’o, had earlier scored Barca’s only goal and it was something of a shock to see the Cameroon star hauled off for a youth player.

Barcelona fans pay tribute to Lionel Messi after scoring 500 goals for the club

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Lionel Messi celebrates with Ronaldinho after his first-ever Barcelona goal

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Lionel Messi celebrates with Ronaldinho after his first-ever Barcelona goal

After the game, Dutch boss Rijkaard explained the move, calmly suggesting: "It was the right moment to bring on a young kid like Messi."

A bold move no doubt, but a superb one... and one that introduced the world to arguably the modern era's greatest ever footballer.

Following his stunning strike, Messi simply told reporters at the Nou Camp: "I enjoyed it a lot."

Lionel Messi showed top skills during his days in the Barcelona Youth Academy

Lionel Messi scored his first goal in a 2-0 win against Albacete in 2005

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Lionel Messi scored his first goal in a 2-0 win against Albacete in 2005

During the 2004-05 season, Messi had been training with the first-team but had struggled to nail down a spot in the squad.

A day after the game Spanish journalist Begona Villarrubia wrote: "It is difficult to imagine a better crowning jewel for a season in which he has been always training with the first team, although he has played almost all the youth team games.

"Messi now feels that the La Liga title which with all probability Barca will win will be his own."

Since that famous day, Messi has gone on to break record after record.

Six facts you didn't know about Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi recently scored his 500th competitive goal for Barcelona

EPA
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Lionel Messi recently scored his 500th competitive goal for Barcelona

The Argentinian superstar's 500 Barcelona goals have come from just 577 games, also scoring 58 times in 117 international games.

On top of that, Messi has won eight La Liga titles - including that 2004-05 season - and four Champions League crowns.

When he retires, he will go down as arguably the greatest player to ever grace the game... and it all started 12 years ago today.