Barcelona's starting XI when Lionel Messi made his debut: Where are they now?
Football isn't a game, it's a way of life. Most people forget this but there come from time to time, few inspirational players who keep their fans waiting for more with bated breaths. They play an enjoyable game of tug of war with the emotions of fans but in the end, leave them happy if not satisfied. They carve a different style of playing and even a chunk of space into the record books in their playing time and if they decide to retire, they leave their fans hanging, fans who crave for more.
One such player arrived onto the scene on 16 October 2004 playing for FC Barcelona against Espanyol in an away game, Lionel Messi. Messi played for the first-team in a friendly against Porto in November 2003 and was ruling the scene in the Barcelona 'B' team.
17 years old, Messi came on as a substitute replacing goalscorer Deco in the 82nd minute while Barcelona was leading 1-0. The 'Little Magician' didn't register a goal or an assist but made people stand up and take a look at him. His footwork and the control he possessed was brilliant and the awareness of the defenders clearly showed that he was there to stay. Wearing the #30 jersey, Messi didn't take long to embed himself into footballing history. He still has a lot left in him but it looks like he has achieved the career stats of other greats.
Let's take a step back and talk less about Messi and more about the players who were beside him on this memorable occasion.
Let's take a look at Barcelona's starting XI when Messi Made his debut.
Note: Stats updated as of 27th January 2019
Goalkeeper- Victor Valdes
Victor Valdes was the goalkeeper when Messi made his first-team debut. The shotstopper broke through to the first team in 2003 and soon became a mainstay in front of goal. He was solid for most of the part and represented them for 535 games and won 6 La Liga titles and 3 UEFA Champions League titles. He created a legacy in Barcelona and after breaking many records, Valdes made a surprise signing to Manchester United after initially agreeing to sign for Monaco.
After being made to watch from the sidelines by David De Gea's brilliance, he moved on to play for Standard Liege and later Middlesborough. He was never the first-choice keeper for Spain with Iker Casillas in top form but won the World Cup in 2010 despite not featuring in a single game. He retired after Middlesborough released him post the 2016-17 PL season. He's currently the manager of the ED Moratalaz youth side.