sport news Lionel Messi's delightful chip 15 years ago today was the first of an ...

It was goal No 1; who knew another 626 would follow?

Some might have suspected it, or at least believed that this was the beginning of something very special.

Lionel Messi's first goal for Barcelona came 15 years ago today on May 1, 2005 against Albacete.

15 years ago, Lionel Messi scored his first Barcelona goal; who knew 626 more would follow?

15 years ago, Lionel Messi scored his first Barcelona goal; who knew 626 more would follow?

Ronaldinho provided the assist with a delightful lob over the Albacete defenders for Messi

Ronaldinho provided the assist with a delightful lob over the Albacete defenders for Messi

There were about four and half minutes left when Frank Rijkaard gave Messi his final instructions. 

Wearing 30 on his back, and with his fringe in his eyes he slapped palms with the substituted Samuel Eto'o who had already put Barcelona 1-0 up and ambled on to the pitch.

In those four and half minutes plus the three that would be added on he gave the Camp Nou a taste of what they were in store for over the next decade and a half.

Raul Valbuena was his first victim – the first goalkeeper to pick the ball out of the back of his net after Messi had lobbed him side-footed from Ronaldinho's pass.

It was actually the second time he picked the ball out of the net from Messi. 

No sooner had Messi come on, Ronaldinho weaved into space and dinked a pass over the top of the Albacete defence into his path. Messi lobbed Valbuena left-footed but the flag was raised.

The Brazilian lifted Messi on his back as the Nou Camp witnessed Messi's first Barca goal

The Brazilian lifted Messi on his back as the Nou Camp witnessed Messi's first Barca goal

The keeper patted the 17-year-old on the head ruffling the famous mullet, as if to say: nice try son. Moments later Messi had done him again, and this time was the right side of the last defender.

Between the goal, that was disallowed and the goal that stood (and who knows what VAR would have made of the first 'goal', Messi looks level when he receives the ball with Ludovic Giuly the player in an offside position) there is also a run down the left on to another perfect pass from Ronaldinho. 

This time Messi provides a cross that is so nearly converted by Andres Iniesta.

Then, in injury time comes the goal. Ronaldinho had been intent on getting Messi on the scoresheet and plays another lob over Albacete's defensive line into his protegee's path. Messi lets it bounce once, and this time, from further out, sends it over Valbuena and into the net.

Valbuena had been a youth team player. He returned to work for the club after his retirement in 2008. He kept the ball and still has it at home signed by his

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