In the event that Leo Messi’s departure from FC Barcelona is consumed, there are countless memorable games that he gave away at the club and for which he will be remembered, among many other things.
Through their goals, their assists, their direction and their leadership, Barça de Rijkaard, Guardiola, Vilanova, Martino, Luis Enrique and Valverde has achieved the consideration of the world of football and although it is impossible, absolutely, to stay with just one A match in the career of the Argentine star, taking into account the historical consideration of many of them against Real Madrid or European or world finals, this could be a choice of 15 unforgettable moments as a player of the Barça first team.
1. 10/16/2004 ESPANYOL-BARCELONA. THE DEBUT
Impossible to forget the first day. Barça won 0-1 and his first minutes since Frank Rijkaard, that October 16, fifteen years ago, called him to the bench to replace Deco. He had little time, but enough time to be noticed, facing Lopo, fighting a ball overhead with Kameni, combining with Iniesta … Proving that this was the beginning of a career that, in the end, ended up exceeding all expectations.
2. 1/5/2005 BARCELONA-ALBACETE. THE FIRST GOAL
Barça were riding towards the conquest of their first league title after five years of drought and with 1-0 on the scoreboard, on matchday 34, against Albacete, Rijkaard gave them entry with three minutes remaining to finish the game. He scored a goal in his first action, which was annulled by the referee… And in added time, assisted by Ronaldinho, he opened his scoring account for Barça, with an exceptional vaseline.
3. 2/22/2006 CHELSEA-BARCELONA. HELLO EUROPE
He had already played five games in the Champions League and debuted his scoring account against Panathinaikos, but a 1-2 win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge put him on the spotlight. It caused the expulsion of Del Horno, completed a sensational game that drew unanimous praise from around the world and gave way to the famous phrase by Mourinho: “good theater.” Without a doubt, Leo’s performance was more than good, it was superb for Europe to discover the new king that was approaching.
4. 4/18/2007 BARCELONA-GETAFE. TRIBUTE TO MARADONA
A month after getting his first hat-trick in a Classical, Messi decided to overcome the feat, in the first leg of the semifinals of the Copa del Rey against Getafe at the Camp Nou, on a cold night that he converted in apotheosis. Barça won 5-2, but in the retina, in the memory, the goal he scored emulating the legendary play of Maradona against England in the 1986 World Cup remains, dodging all the rivals that appeared from the center of the field in a major slalom that closed by dodging the goalkeeper and scoring in the best tribute he could pay to Diego.
5. 2/20/2008 CELTIC-BARCELONA. THE CONQUEST OF SCOTLAND
Leo’s first game in Scotland, in Glasgow, was not just any one. Barça won 2-3 with a double from Leo, who reached his 40 goals for Barça that night, closing the comeback against an almost untouchable Celtic in his sanctuary and whose fans, depressed by the defeat, did not hesitate to cheer the Argentine star .
6. 5/27/2009 BARCELONA-MANCHESTER UNITED. THE GLORY
Absent from the final in Paris in 2006, Messi could not take revenge until three years later … But, in Rome, he did it to the beast. “Leo cannot be doubted. Someday he will surprise you ”, Guardiola had stated weeks before when asked that the Argentine did not stand out for his aerial game. Assisted by Xavi, he scored with his head over Van der Sar, which he himself considered the most unforgettable goal of his career in a final that Barça won 2-0.
7. 12/19/2009 BARCELONA-STUDENTS. THE HEART
The Barça of the six titles, the unapproachable Barça, the perfect Barça. The one who closed the year 2009 by winning the Club World Cup, beating Estudiantes (2-1) in the final after a very tough game, which Pedro led to extra time at the last gasp (entering history by scoring in all competitions) and that Messi decided in that added time, finishing off Xavi’s center with his chest.
8. 4/27/2011 REAL MADRID-BARCELONA. MASTER
A week after losing the Cup final in Valencia and with the spirits more fired than ever after a previous press conference in which Guardiola described Mourinho as “the fucking master in the press room” in the middle of the Barça-Madrid war, The Barça team visited the Bernabéu in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final… And they won 0-2, with a brace from Messi that over the years they keep as the most unforgettable match of his career. Mourinho could be the master of the press room. Leo was on the pitch.
9. 3/7/2012 BARCELONA-LEVERKUSEN. THE REPOKER
The tenth footballer in the history of the top continental competition to score five goals in a single match, Messi was the first to do so in a Champions League knockout match, in the 7-1 with which Barça defeated Bayer Leverkusen, entering the tournament books.
10. 03/23/2014 REAL MADRID-BARCELONA. THE COLDNESS
Barça defeated in their two previous league trips to San Sebastián and Valladolid, the visit to the Bernabéu was understood to be a toss-up in their fight for the League. Iniesta scored, Madrid came back, Leo drew, Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 3-2 penalty … And from the penalty spot, with a coldness never seen, he turned the scoreboard Messi with two goals that gave the final 3-4 for Barça del Tata Martino.
11. 6/5/2015 BARCELONA-BAYERN MUNICH. BOATENG
Still remembering the crushing suffered two years before, Bayern, with Guardiola on the bench, visited the Camp Nou in the first leg of the Champions League semi-finals of the 2014-15 season, which Barça solved with an excellent, and ultimately definitive dessert , 3-0. Leo scored two goals, the second after dribbling with his body on a magical play to Boateng. The course ended with a triplet, but that night is not forgotten.
12. 20/4/2016 DEPORTIVO-BARCELONA. THE RESURRECTION
Eliminated by Atlético de Madrid in the Champions League, Barça had linked a draw and three defeats in the League that destroyed their advantage in the classification until turning Luis Enrique’s team into a depressed group and on the verge of KO, which was played on the credit and the future in La Coruña… The result was an indisputable 0-8, with Messi as the true master of ceremonies, author of a goal, two assists and two other personal moves that would end in another two goals. From there, Barça became untouchable again, achieving the double.
13. 04/23/2017 REAL MADRID-BARCELONA. T-SHIRT
A month and a half after celebrating the majestic and legendary comeback against PSG with the stands, Messi returned to the Bernabéu at the head of a Barça that could receive the thrust in the League at the hands of the leader, a Real Madrid that advanced on the scoreboard through Casemiro, who saved the defeat in the 85th minute with James’ draw … And who ended up surrendered to Leo, author of the final 2-3 in added time, crowned with his celebration, hanging the shirt between his hands and offered to the Barça fans present at the Merengue Coliseum. Seeing that celebration … Who could doubt his barcelonismo?
14. 4/21/2018 SEVILLA-BARCELONA. ANGER
It had been eleven days since Barça had been eliminated from the Champions League, suffering a humiliation in Rome that put on the stage the possible dismissal of Valverde, who for many was gambling for the position in that Cup final played in Madrid … And that Barça won 5-0, with an exhibition in which Messi was the protagonist of exception. Author of a goal and two assists, he proclaimed through football his support for Valverde, who remained in office winning the double.
15. 3/17/2019 BETIS-BARCELONA. THE OVATION
Launched in the League and still happy in the Champions League, Barça crushed Betis at Villamarín, winning 1-4 with a hat-trick from Leo… Who enjoyed an unusual event: after scoring a brilliant goal, made from Vaseline , to Pau López, he contemplated how the Betic stadium in full chanted his name, forcing him to thank that gesture of a rival supporter.