Stunning footage of an eight-year-old Lionel Messi playing for Newell's Old Boys' academy team in Argentina has gone viral. The forward began his youth career at the Santa Fe outfit before joining Barcelona in 2000.
Messi joined Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) from Barcelona in what was the biggest transfer of the summer. The Argentinean putting an end to his 21-year association with Blaugrana in favour of a move to Paris was a hard pill to swallow for Barcelona fans.
It was at the Camp Nou that Messi went from a young man to a six-time Ballon d'Or winner. The Barcelona faithful - and the rest of the world - watched in awe as he went on to stake his claim to the title of 'Greatest Of All Time'.
However, before he set the world alight in Barcelona colours, Messi took his baby steps in football at Newell's Old Boys, back in his hometown. The Argentinean club, who introduced Marcelo Bielsa to the world, also gave football the player we fondly refer to as La Pulga today.
Messi's talent was always there to be seen, even when he played for Newell's Old Boys' academy. The lack of video footage, though, has kept us from enjoying the PSG superstar's brilliance in his early years.
However, a stunning video of an eight-year-old Messi shining for Newell's Old Boys' academy team in Argentina has now gone viral. Lionel Messi, wearing an oversized No. 10 kit, can be seen standing out from the rest on the pitch despite his smaller stature.
Watch the video below:
Lionel Messi tipped to win seventh Ballon d'Or
One doesn't need to look at the number of Ballon d'Or awards Lionel Messi has won to understand his greatness. However, the accolade is a testament to the Argentina international's talent.
During his time at Barcelona, Messi was named the winner of the Ballon d'Or award six times. The 34-year-old has bagged the accolade once more than fierce rival Cristiano Ronaldo, giving him an edge in the 'GOAT' debate.
Messi could now be in line to win his seventh Ballon d'Or trophy. France Football are scheduled to reveal the winner of the award on Monday and the PSG superstar is among the favourites.
Many have tipped Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski to win this year's Ballon d'Or, while Chelsea midfielder Jorginho is a strong candidate. However, Messi could emerge victorious on the podium on Monday.