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"25 minutes were enough for me to know I wanted Messi at just 18!"

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,577

Pin Messi began to show off his skills to the world in 2005. Captura/Youtube
Messi began to show off his skills to the world in 2005. Captura/Youtube

"25 minutes were enough for me to know I wanted Messi at just 18!"

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 1,577

Fabio Capello spoke about the Argentine's stunning performance in his Camp Nou debut in the 2005 Gamper Trophy.

On 24th August 2005, La Liga champions Barcelona played Serie A winners Juventus in the Gamper Trophy. Ronaldinho, Puyol, Deco, Eto’o, Del Piero, VIeira, Trezeguet and Ibrahimovic were among the stars on show, but a kid who was just 18 and making his first start at the Camp Nou stole the limelight.

His name was Lionel Messi. Everyone thought he was just another academy player who was looking to find a place in a big Spanish club. However, what happen that night was the start of a very special career.

"After 25 minutes of the match I went over to Frank (Rijkaard) and I asked to sign Messi on loan. I knew that there were some bureaucratic issues and I think he couldn't start the season in Barcelona. Then I thought of bringing him to Turin, but Frank said in months everything would be sorted, so we couldn't reach an agreement," Capello said a few years back.

That day, Messi was unstoppable on the field of play. Despite knowing him so well, Capello could not stop him. "I knew Messi existed because of his performances with the Argentina age group categories, but what I saw that night left me stunned. That a footballer of his age played that way in front of 90,00 spectators. He wasn't intimidated by Balzaretti, a tough and experienced full back. He surprised me enormously. He had personality, quality, dribbling... he got the ball and went straight for goal with such boldness," he continued.

Almost 15 years later, Capello spoke about having enjoyed all the technical ability of a player he had spotted in youth teams. "We have enjoyed all his technical ability, his talent. But now he can play with more experience and that's an advantage for him. He can keep this level up until the end of career," the then Juventus coach concluded.

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