Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1 May 2005 - Pelé Remained Unimpressed, However

On 1 May 2005, Lionel Messi notched his first goal for Barcelona in a 2-0 win over Albacete. He has since become the club's all-time leading scorer.

The forward made his league debut for the first team the previous October at the age of 17 years and 114 days, making him the youngest player to appear for the club in La Liga (though that record was subsequently broken by Bojan Krkić in 2007). He went on to make a total of seven league appearances that season, but scored only a single goal.

That goal came late in the match against Albacete, as manager Frank Rijkaard made a late substitution, putting Messi on for forward Samuel Eto'o in the 87th minute. Barcelona were already leading 1-0 and  Messi nearly doubled the lead in the  89th minute when he received a short lobbed pass from Ronaldinho, then chipped the keeper from inside the box. The referee disallowed the goal as offside, even though replays confirmed that Messi had been onside when Ronaldinho made the pass.

But just one minute later, the pair executed a nearly-identical move. Although Messi was under more pressure from the defense, he again sent a left-footed chip over the Albacete keeper from inside the box to push the final score to 2-0.

Barcelona proceeded to win the league that year for the first time since 1999. Messi, meanwhile, has since scored a total of 245 goals in 325 appearances, making him the top scorer in club history.

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