The incredible Lionel Messi legacy at Barcelona 17 years after he made his debut

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On this day 17 years ago, Lionel Andres Messi made his debut for FC Barcelona. A day that you could say changed the course of not just the Catalan club’s history, but changed football.

Realistically, there are only four players that could be considered the best to have ever played the game; Pele, Diego Maradona, Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi.

Where the now Paris Saint-Germain player trumps all of his contemporaries, however, is in the way in which he can seemingly do it all.

No, he hasn’t yet won a World Cup – as Pele and Maradona have done – nor has he scored as many goals as Ronaldo, although he is just six league goals behind the Portuguese having played 118 games less, per The Week.

His longevity can only really be matched by Ronaldo, whilst his goals and assists (total) record is likely to remain unsurpassed.

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When we talk about legacy, that’s what Barcelona and their supporters will remember with fondness.

A player that, from the very first moment that he set foot on a pitch for Barcelona’s first team in a competitive game, was destined for greatness.

A player that would’ve gladly ended his top-flight career at the club had the economic situation been different.

A player that will be remembered for generations.

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