Thursday cover: 10 years of Lionel Messi at Barcelona

The National's Sport cover for the Thursday, October 16, issue, featuring Lionel Messi, who on this day exactly 10 years ago made his first team debut for Barcelona.

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The National’s Sport cover for the Thursday, October 16 issue, featuring Lionel Messi, who on this day exactly 10 years ago made his first team debut for Barcelona.

Andy Mitten harkens back to that game, the Catalan derby against Espanyol: "Watchers of Barca's junior and reserve teams already knew they had a potentially great player in their ranks, but every big club has a potentially great player in their ranks," Mitten writes.

“Unlike the rest, though, Messi would become a great player, arguably the best the world has seen.”

And in the ensuing decade, writes Mitten, “Messi has won 21 trophies in a Barcelona shirt, including three European Cups, six Ligas and two world club championships.

“He has also won four Ballons d’Or, three Pichichi awards for being the top scorer in Spain and numerous other individual honours

“A Messi statue will be erected outside Camp Nou when it is redeveloped later this decade.”

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