FOOTBALL – Lionel Messi made his senior career debut 10 years ago. 405 goals, four Ballons ‘d Ors, three Champions Leagues and six La Liga titles later, he has become one of the best, if not the best, players of all-time. Here are 10 facts to go with his 10th anniversary.
> Messi made his senior career debut on 16 October 2004, coming on as a substitute (84′) for Deco in Barcelona’s 1-0 away derby win at Espanyol. Messi is now on 529 matches.
> On the same day Cristiano Ronaldo played his 98th career match, drawing 0-0 with Manchester United at Birmingham City.
> Messi has scored 405 goals since his first match. Ronaldo has scored 426 goals since Messi made his debut.
> Ronaldo had scored 320 goals in his first 10 years (2002-2012).
> Messi has scored 29 hat-tricks. Ronaldo has scored 29 hat-tricks.
> Messi has played 28 matches against Real Madrid: W13-D8-L7.
> He has scored 21 goals against Real Madrid.
> Messi scored his first goal on 1 May 2005 Barcelona – Albacete (2-0) in the 91st minute on assist of Ronaldinho. He was 17 years old, had number 30 on his jersey and put the ball in the middle of the goal area.
> He has come on as a sub 73 times, scoring on 26 occasions.
> Messi has a clear preference where to put the ball when he scores: the bottom corner.
Where Messi scores his goals