On this day in 2004, the GOAT was born.
That's because on March 6, 2004, Lionel Messi made his competitive debut for Barcelona B.
At just 16, Messi played 90 minutes as he helped Barca’s reserve side beat Mataro 1-0.
Despite his tender years, Messi showed his incredible potential during the 90 minutes. Even back then, Messi had mastered the art of the drop of the shoulder and a perfectly weighted through ball.
But how good was he during his first professional match?
Well, thanks to the wonders of YouTube, we can watch footage of his debut. Already donning the No.10 shirt, Messi looked a class apart as he terrorised the opposition defence.
Take a look:
Imagine being one of those lucky supporters inside the stadium that day.
They probably didn’t know it at the time but they had witnessed the greatest player to have ever played the game in his first ever competitive match. That’s a story to tell the grandkids.
Unsurprisingly, Messi didn’t remain in the Barcelona B ranks for too long - 22 matches to be exact.
And more footage of his performances for the B team showed he was simply far too good for that level.
Seven months after his debut, Messi made his first-team debut on October 16, 2004 against Espanyol.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Seventeen years later, Messi has scored 658 goals, won 10 league titles and got his hands on a record six Ballons d'Or.
What a career.
Fast forward to today and Messi faces a huge week in what could potentially be his final season as a Barcelona player.
He inspired his side to the Copa del Rey final as they produced an epic comeback against Sevilla. They face Osasuna on Saturday night hours after Madrid rivals Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid do battle. If results go their way, Ronald Koeman's side could find themselves just two points off the top of the table.
Then, next Wednesday, they travel to France to take on Paris Saint-Germain looking to do the unthinkable and turn around their 4-1 defeat from the first leg.
With Messi on their side, don't bet against them.