Lionel Messi and Barcelona are set to take on Juventus in this year’s Champions League final. That is four-time Ballon d’Or winner, Barcelona’s all-time leading goalscorer, widely recognized best player to ever play the sport Lionel Messi and the world’s best team against Juventus in the biggest club match of the year.
But let’s rewind 10 years. Once again, it is Barcelona versus Juventus, but this time in a preseason friendly. Messi is 18 years old and has only played nine matches for Barcelona. He has his old goofy mullet and is wearing No. 30, in case you wanted to know just how small of place he had in the team.
And even then, damn was it clear just how talented he was. This is teenage Messi, just laying waste to Juventus 10 years before he’ll try to do the same in a Champions League final:
So what’s more impressive: the way he out-muscled Patrick Vieira, how no one on Juventus can figure out where the hell he’s going, or the perfectly weighted through ball to set up Barcelona’s goal?
The correct answer is yes.
Even 18-year-old Messi was amazing and tormented Juventus. Now Juve’s going to get the grown up version with a side of Luis Suárez and Neymar. Not to mention the entire world watching.