Skip to main content

Lionel Messi: My memories of the best player ever

Posted by Drago

First of all I would like to say how delighted I am to be back as a contributor to Barcablog. I am sure that all my loyal readers (both of you) are equally delighted. For the rest of this season, I will share my thoughts pertaining to our beloved FC Barcelona with you. I hope you read them, enjoy them and maybe comment on them.

For my first column this season, I have decided to write about my memories of watching Lionel Messi, either on television or the Internet. In case you have just landed from outer space, Messi is our talisman and possibly already the greatest player of all time. Modern technology has made it possible for me, and many others, to be able to watch and enjot his exploits on a regular basis.

I remember the first time I saw Lionel Messi, It was when he came on as a second half substitute for one of Frank Rijkaard's teams at Camp Nou in 2005 (I think). I remember the commentator on ESPN (who unlike this season, then covered La Liga)  saying the Barcelona considered this young player to be the best prospect to ever come out of their system and that it was expected he would be a truly great player. Given his young age, I thought he must be good but thought that plenty of other would be young champions failed to live up to the hype. Because injuries and delays with Messi's Spanish citizenship restricted his appearances over the next couple of seasons, I don't remember much more of his early days with Barcelona.

It was in El Clasico against Real Madrid at Camp Nou in March 2007 that Lionel Messi really announced his arrival to the world. He scored a hattrick to help Barcelona earn a 3-3 draw against our great rival. Those goals included a well-taken late equaliser from an excellent Ronaldinho pass. It was the just the first of many times that he has sent me on a lap of celebration around my house. After that game, I remember thinking "This kid could be good". With the benefit of hindsight, a bit of an understatement, don't you think?

Pep Guardiola replaced Frank Rijkaard as coach for the 2008/09 season. It did not take much, if any, time for Pep to realise what a jewel he had at his disposal. Messi quickly made the transition from promising young talent to the key player around which the team was built. That season, "The Trident" of Messi, Samuel Eto'o and Thiery Henry scored exactly 100 goals as the team powered to a Treble triumph of "Copa, Liga y Champions". Messi scored 38 goals in that wonderful season for Barcelona fans. The goals I remember with most fondness were the two goals he scored in 2-6 demolition of Real Madrid at Bernebeu and his rare headed goal in our 2-0 Champions League Final win over Manchester United. Actually, my most memorable goal of that season was Andres Iniesta's late "golazo" to win the UCL Semi Final against Chelsea. But that is another story.

Since that seaon Lionel Messi has continued to amaze and delight Barcelona fans on a regular basis. This would be a never-ending article if I wrote about every piece of Messi brilliance that I have seen. However, there is one game which stands out for me for the joy the magic of Messi brought to Barcelona fans throughout the world. It is the 2010/11 UCL Semi Final 1st Leg against Real Madrid at Bernebeu. He scored both goals in our 0-2 triumph. The first was a routine finish from a cross that was Ibrahim Afellay's greatest moment as a Barcelona player. The second was a brilliant dribble where he beat most of the Madrid team before calmly slotting the ball past Iker Casillas.

Speaking of the 2010/11 Champions League, Messi's go ahead goal in our 3-1 victory in the Final against Manchester United was also fantastic.

I am sure that I speak for Barcelona fans when I say it has been a privilege to watch Lionel Messi play for our team. Hopefully, there are many more years of Messi magic to come. We do have to realise that Messi is human and we cannot expect him to do everything. We all remember Messi's missed penalty against Chelsea earlier this year which probably cost us back-to-back UCLs. In that game, the fact that the rest of the team seemed to be looking only for Messi to turn the tide was just as critical. The team cannot allow itself to rely solely on Lionel Messi as sometimes appears the case.

Lionel Messi is a genius. It could be said that he is the best at his chosen sport that any sportsman has ever been. Maybe, maybe not. I do know that I love watching him play and that every time I do I am reminded of a quote I once read (but can't remember where). "Lionel Messi is the only player in the world who is better in real life than he is on Play Station". Enough said!


Popular posts from this blog

Why Verratti should join Barcelona, Vermaelen fiasco and transfer rumours [TBP#8]

The Barcelona Podcast duo discuss why Barcelona should go the extra mile to sign Marco Verratti. Francesc and Dan also discuss why the time Thomas Vermaelen has spent at Barca must be considered a disaster. The duo also address the latest transfer rumours. Episode 8 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

If you are new here, consider subscribing so that you never miss another update! You can subscribe on iTunes, via your preferred podcast app or on Soundcloud.

Check it out here:

'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!

Why Barcelona should sign Yerry Mina in 2018

Yerry Mina has been heavily linked with Barcelona in recent times. The 22-year-old centre-back, who has excelled for both Palmeiras and Colombia in recent times, is rumoured to be joining Barca in the summer -- the summer of 2018, that is.

Given the huge role Mina is bound to play for Colombia in the biggest international tournament in football, the Barca board believe it is best for the young defender to stay in his current club until then. As per, Los Cafeteros are currently 28/1 favourites to win the World Cup in 2018 and their limited chances of success would only increase if Mina's form and confidence is exceptional when it truly matters.

Barcelona reportedly agreed an option to bring Mina from Palmeiras to the Camp Nou for a €9 million back in October 2016. However, the Barca board believe that the 195cm Colombian should remain in his current club until the end of the 2018 World Cup, to be played in Russian next summer.

The almost certain departure of Jer…

Dani Alves to Manchester City: Another example of terrible business by Barcelona

Dani Alves has been linked with a move to Manchester City and is expected to join the Sky Blues in the coming days. Astute as ever, former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola has not wasted a second to approach his former star in order to strengthen his squad this summer.

Dani Alves was allowed to leave Barcelona on a free transfer only last season. Considering his continued excellent performances for Juventus, it is obvious why Guardiola is prepared to pay a fee of €5.7 million to reunite with the veteran Brazilian full-back.

Alves' departure can only be considered as terrible business for Barcelona -- and this is certainly not the first time.

It really is baffling that, while Alves is being offered a further two years to move to the English Premier League, Barcelona are still struggling to find a worthy replacement: With stories linking the Blaugranas to Hector Bellerin or Nelson Semedo splashed all over the Catalan media on a daily basis.

We discussed why Bellerin should be the Bl…

Can Riyad Mahrez improve Barcelona's attack?

Riyad Mahrez has been linked to Barcelona for a couple of seasons now. His superb performances for Leicester City, which helped The Foxes conquer the Premier League only last season, made him an attractive addition for major European clubs in need of talent.

Mahrez extended his contract for a further four years with Leicester only last summer, shortly after finishing 7th in the run-up for the Ballon d'Or. While The Foxes have been far less consistent this season, the 26-year-old Algerian international was contributed with four goals and two assists in their Champions League campaign.

Undoubtedly, Mahrez would be a great signing for any club. However, would Barcelona be the best fit for his future? Can he bring what the Catalan giants are currently lacking? Listen to Episode 9 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' to find out:

If you are new here, consider subscribing so that you never miss another update! You can listen on iTunes, via your preferred podcast app or on Soundcloud.

Do …

Lucas Lima is not the midfielder Barcelona need despite Neymar recommendation

Lucas Lima is close to finalising his transfer to Barcelona in January 2018, according to reports in the Brazilian media. The 26 year-old midfielder, who currently plays for Santos and the Brazilian national team, is rumoured to be joining Barca on a free transfer once his current deal expires on 31st December 2017.

Lima has reportedly received offers from Real Madrid, PSG and Bayern Munich in recent times. However, the gifted Santos playmaker is set to sign a four-year deal with Barcelona as soon as July 1st, exactly six months before his contract with Santos expires.

While I don't doubt that the Brazilian international is a quality player, it seems obvious that the fact that his agent is in fact Neymar's dad has helped his potential move to Barcelona. Having dated Neymar's sister and his close friendship with Barca's No.11 would not have done much harm to his chances of securing a move either.

If rumours were to become a reality and Lima joined the Catalan giants du…

The Pique vs Ramos rivalry, Riyad Mahrez rumours and La Masia decline [TBP#9]

The Barcelona Podcast duo discuss whether Riyad Mahrez would be a success if he joined Barca. Francesc and Dan also discuss the bitter rivalry between Gerard Pique and Sergio Ramos. The duo also address the current state of affairs at La Masia. Episode 9 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

If you are new here, consider subscribing so that you never miss another update! You can listen on iTunes, via your preferred podcast app or on Soundcloud.

Check it out here:

Do you know someone who loves Barcelona as much as you do? If so, would you share this podcast with them? That would be awesome, thank you!

'The Barcelona Podcast' is brought to you by Francesc Tomas (as seen in ESPN, The Guardian) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). Listen in for our opinionated take on the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou!

The Barcelona Podcast

Barcelona podcast by Francesc Tomas (ESPN, Barcablog) and Dan Hilton (NYCR), passionate about bring you the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou. If you are new here, consider subscribing so that you never miss another Barca update!

SUBSCRIBE on YouTubeLIKE us on Facebook FOLLOW us on Twitter

What Messi's new contract means for Barcelona, Mathieu's future and ideal signings [TBP#7] | The Barcelona Podcast

The Barcelona Podcast duo discuss why Lionel Messi renewing his Barca contract is huge news for the Camp Nou giants. Francesc and Dan also discuss whether Jeremy Mathieu should remain Ernesto Valverde's squad next season. The duo also address the latest transfer rumours. Episode #7 of 'The Barcelona Podcast' is finally here!

This episode is brought to you by FuboTV. We have secured an EXCLUSIVE discount for you to watch hundreds of sporting events, including ALL FC Barcelona matches in HD, at

About 'The Barcelona Podcast' channel: Created by Francesc Tomas (ESPN, Barcablog) and Dan Hilton (Barcablog). We are committed to bringing you the hottest breaking stories from the Camp Nou.

Marco Reus, preferred transfer target for Barca fans | Barcelona News

Barcelona future star Eric Garcia snatched by Manchester City

Eric Garcia, one of the most promising youngsters in Barcelona's La Masia academy, has surprised his coaches by announcing his decision to not renew his current contract.

Garcia is, undoubtedly, one of the most promising defenders in Barca's youth system. The 16-year-old center-back, who is already a Spain U-17 international, has continuously been compared to Gerard Pique during his career at the club -- which started at the tender age of just six years old.

Manchester City are reportedly offering the player €1million over the next three years and, unsurprisingly, are therefore the favourites to land Garcia on a free transfer -- given the fact that Garcia does not have a formal contract with Barcelona given his age.

Cesc Fabregas or Hector Bellerin are only a couple of the players that Barca has lost in this controversial manner over the years. This is unacceptable. La Masia has to be the basis for Barcelona's future, as we discussed in much more depth in Episode 7 of …