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Messi had actually played in a friendly for the Barca senior team a few months earlier, but March 6 was the talented teenager's first ever taste of league football. He did not disappoint.
The highlights show the Argentine wonderkid flying past Matero defenders, showcasing his amazing close control and - of course - even being hacked down at one point.
A 16 year old Lionel Messi makes his debut for Barça B. He was always going to be a superstar. pic.twitter.com/z5JKzSyfOc- Football Tweet (@Football__Tweet) April 26, 2016
Get used to it, Leo.
The match ended in a 1-0 for Barca B and while Messi didn't get on the scoresheet, he did score six goals in 22 matches for Barcelona's reserves between 2004 and 2005.
In October 2004, Messi made his full senior debut for Barcelona's first team, coming off the bench against Espanyol. Barca's senior players - including Ronaldinho - had actually gone to manager Frank Rijkaard and asked him to promote Messi.
No wonder Ronaldinho and co liked what they saw, judging by the skills was showing for Barcelona B - and undoubtedly in training.
Messi's first senior goal came against Albacete in May 2005 - Brazilian genius Ronaldinho providing the assist.
Plenty more would follow as the Rosario-born, six-time Ballon d'Or winner currently has 658 goals for Barcelona's senior team. Plus a record 71 goals for Argentina.
His relationship with Barcelona has seemed to crumble over the last year as Messi sensationally asked to be released last summer, before choosing to stay rather than try to force his exit from the club.
Catalan police searched Barcelona's offices amid a corruption investigation named 'Barcagate' at the start of March. The club have also struggled on the pitch, including a 4-1 thrashing by Paris Saint-Germain at Camp Nou in the Champions League.
Kylian Mbappe humiliating Lionel Messi and FC Barcelona players! :fire::fire::fire: pic.twitter.com/nmtGzuh6jZ- Mbappe FC (@KMbappeRM) February 17, 2021
Still, at least Messi is still playing and regularly producing for the club he loves (for now).
Just as he did when he made his Barca B debut 17 years ago today - and gave us all a tantalising hint of what was to come.
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